Passport Department ready to facilitate pilgrims’ entry

Hajj pilgrims congregate on Jabal Al-Rahma in Arafat. (File photo)
Updated 30 July 2017

Passport Department ready to facilitate pilgrims’ entry

JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Yahya, the director of the General Directorate of Passports, inspected the pilgrimage halls at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah.
Al-Yahya was accompanied by the deputy commander of the Passport Authority for Hajj Affairs, Maj. Khalid bin Fahd Al-Jaid, and other officials.
Al-Yahya said that “the passport department at Jeddah airport is supported by qualified human cadres and advanced technical equipment to facilitate entry procedures for the pilgrims.”
At the end of the tour, the director general urged all employees to exert the utmost efforts and to ensure accuracy in the implementation of procedures that serve pilgrims.
Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz, the deputy minister of Makkah region, on Sunday inspected the Hajj terminal complex at Jeddah airport, during which he was briefed on preparations and services provided for this season’s pilgrims.
Pilgrims will benefit from 13 projects undertaken by the Development Authority of Makkah and the holy sites (MMDA), and the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
These projects include pedestrian bridges, toilets, train gates and many others, and will accommodate pilgrims from all over the world.
According to Okaz newspaper, the holy sites are witnessing great efforts being exerted to complete a number of projects, especially since only 38 days are left before the arrival of pilgrims to the sprawling tent city of Mina.
Trial train trips have been operated on a daily basis over the past months, to make sure of the trains’ security, safety and readiness.
The Malaysian company operating the Mashaer Railway network is now offering temporary jobs for young Saudis. Saudis willing to work for a period of 8 days during the Hajj season this year can now apply.
The MMDA has achieved 60 percent of a project aiming to separate pedestrians climbing Jabal Al-Rahmah Mountain from the Iranian pilgrims’ camps in Arafat. The MMDA and the workers on site are in a race against time, as they want pilgrims to benefit from this project during this year’s Hajj season. 

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

Updated 18 October 2019

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

  • The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date

RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.

The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.

The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.


GEA president Turki Al-Sheikh gave an opening speech: “Our dearest people, in the beginning of this season, we welcome you and our guests in Riyadh.

“I want to share a story with you all; once upon a time, I was from a middle-class family. My mother and father would gather both their salaries to have us travel to see the world, and then we would stay in Riyadh for a year. These were our capabilities (at the time) and there was nothing to do in Riyadh. Who would've thought that we’d see all of this in Riyadh, and in our beloved country?

“This wouldn't have been possible without -of course Allah first- a person who has the qualities and vision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

He tweeted: “Riyadh traffic police estimated we have exceeded 600K which means ten times the capacity.”

In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.

The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.

The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.

The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.

The parade had a special surprise; the appearance of DJ Carnage who took to the stage dressed in complete Saudi attire and performed his successful electronic show.

The musician also took to Twitter to celebrate the night and how he had had a hand in “making history,” tweeting: “A huge thank you to @Turki_alalshikh  ..... what you did for your country last night... was so special... thank you for having me... we made history.”