No plans to halt Umrah visas in 2013

Updated 02 November 2012

No plans to halt Umrah visas in 2013

There are no plans to stop Umrah visas next year as a result of development projects at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, Haj Ministry spokesman Hatim Qadi said yesterday.
“We have not received any instruction by higher authorities to stop issuing Umrah visas,” Qadi said.
He said the ministry’s monitoring officials have caught three false Haj service agents who had allegedly cheated some groups of pilgrims during this Haj season.
“We are continuing our investigation with the three agents and their file will be passed to the governorate and then to the court to take legal action,” Qadi said.
Asked about prospects of licensing more agents to provide domestic Haj services, Qadi said: “We have licensed 250 companies to provide domestic Haj services and there is no plan to issue more licenses at the moment. We would like to see better services from the existing companies.”
He said the ministry would review the overall performance of the different departments during this Haj season to learn lessons from mistakes and improve services.
Qadi said Haj Minister Bandar Hajjar was successful in convincing Nigerian authorities the reason for sending back some women pilgrims this year for violating Haj regulations.


Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

Updated 19 October 2019

Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

  • The embassy said that evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety
  • Three Saudia aircraft were used to transport them

BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia's embassy in Lebanon has confirmed it has facilitated the “evacuation of Saudi residents and visitors” from the country.
“The evacuation operation, imposed by the security situation in Lebanon and the importance of ensuring the safety of Saudi nationals, started Saturday at 5 a.m. after the Kingdom secured three Saudia aircraft to transport them,” the embassy told Arab News.
“Three hundred people were evacuated as of Saturday afternoon, while the total number of those wishing to leave remains unclear. We have identified a hotel in Beirut as a starting point,” it added, noting that most of those who had left were tourists.
The embassy also confirmed evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety.
Protests broke out in Lebanon on Thursday night, and disorder has disrupted roads leading to the airport, with burning tires blocking several key routes.
On Friday, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged its citizens already in Lebanon to exercise “utmost caution.”
Egypt’s Embassy in Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.
“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA reported.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to the country to delay trips where possible.
“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” it said on social media site Twitter.
Bahrain and the UAE warned against travel to Lebanon and called on their citizens in the country to leave immediately.