20,000 houses ready for distribution in EP

Updated 31 October 2015

20,000 houses ready for distribution in EP

DAMMAM: The Housing Ministry has announced it would soon hand over 20,000 properties to citizens in the Eastern Province.
Shaher Al-Sahli, general manager of the ministry in the Eastern Province, said that 13,000 beneficiaries in Dammam would receive apartments, land and loans, which would cover 35 percent of the waiting list in the city.
He said that the first stage of the ministry’s housing projects were completed in partnership with real estate developers. There have been a further 3,200 applications received by the Dhahran Exhibition Company.
He said the government has now completed its tender processes and contracted several real estate companies to start building homes for citizens. Some companies are on the verge of completing their projects, he said.
The first stage of the ministry’s rollout would include Dammam, Alkhobar, Qatif, Al-Ahsa, Hafr Al-Batin, Nairiyah and Abqaiq. He said the ministry is offering a wide range of options for citizens in the Eastern Province.
Al-Sahli said the second stage would cover about 65 percent of the waiting list, with the private sector playing a key role. “We are still holding workshops and meetings to attract developers ... to solve the housing crisis.”
In addition, the ministry said it is also making sure that nine projects that have been delayed for various reasons, are completed on time. He said about 100 citizens a day seek clarification on the ministry’s programs and apply for homes.
Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif said that the Al-Sharqiya Chamber’s real estate committee is currently helping to oversee the work and reporting to his office about the quality and pricing of the houses. He said the governorate does not interfere with the developers’ work.
Prince Saud said he had ordered the local ministry officials to ensure that the rollout timetable is finalized as soon as possible.

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.