Qatari pilgrims not banned from entering Saudi Arabia: Passport Department chief

Qatari pilgrims not banned from entering Saudi Arabia: Passport Department chief
1 / 3
An aerial view shows of Muslim pilgrims from all around the world circling around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque, in the Saudi city of Makkah. (AP)
Qatari pilgrims not banned from entering Saudi Arabia: Passport Department chief
2 / 3
A Saudi boy scout provides service to pilgrims and visitors at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. (SPA)
Qatari pilgrims not banned from entering Saudi Arabia: Passport Department chief
3 / 3
Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal holds talks with Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli in Jeddah on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 31 July 2017

Qatari pilgrims not banned from entering Saudi Arabia: Passport Department chief

Qatari pilgrims not banned from entering Saudi Arabia: Passport Department chief

RIYADH/JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Yahya, head of the General Directorate of Passports, has denied reports that Qatari pilgrims were banned from entering the Kingdom to perform Hajj, local media said.
“Qatari brothers are currently entering the Kingdom to visit relatives,” Al-Yahya was quoted by Al-Jazirah daily as saying.
Al-Yahya’s remarks refute comments made by Abdullah Al-Azbah, the media adviser to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Earlier, Qatar's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) lodged a complaint with the UN accusing the Kingdom of “politicizing” Hajj and putting obstacles in the way of Qatari citizens and residents wishing to perform Hajj and Umrah.
Last month, the General Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque denied news reports of a ban on Qatari pilgrims and Umrah performers.”
Saudi leaders have stressed that services will be provided for pilgrims from around the world, including Qatari pilgrims, a statement issued by the presidency said.
However, the Qatari Ministry of Islamic Affairs suspended registration of potential Hajj performers on its electronic website with observers saying that the step was intentional and aims to spoil the Hajj season for Qatari citizens and residents, local media said.
The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has welcomed Qatari pilgrims despite the severing of ties with Doha over accusations of supporting terrorism.
Qatari pilgrims can fly to Saudi Arabia with any carrier except Qatar Airways, the ministry said.
They should enter only through King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Airport in Madinah during the current Hajj season, the ministry said.
In other news, Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and Minister of Enviornment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli held talks in Jeddah on Sunday.
During the meeting, plans and preparations for the 2017 Hajj season were discussed.
Prince Khaled also reviewed water projects in the region and received details on the ministry’s preparations for the coming Hajj season, which includes a 21 percent increase in pumped water over last year.
Meanwhile, Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz, deputy governor of Makkah inspected the Hajj and Umrah Complex at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah.
Prince Abdullah also reviewed the progress of the work and the operational plan to receive the pilgrims coming to perform Hajj this year.
The city of Madinah has completed all preparations to receive pilgrims with integrated services provided by government and private sector firms related to pilgrim affairs, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
The General Presidency of the Affairs of the Prophet's Mosque has mobilized to serve visitors of the mosque. It has appointed female controllers to monitor all women’s services and organizational works at the mosque.
The Civil Defense in Madinah has also completed all arrangements to protect pilgrims and provide safety measures to avoid any potential accidents or disasters. It also finalized shelter, evacuation and emergency plans, as well as plans to transfer the injured to medical centers.
For its part, the National Guides Establishment in Madinah has embarked on the implementation of its operational plans for pilgrims including their reception, housing and following up on their affairs from the moment they arrive until their departure from the holy city.
Madinah Police will be mobilized to serve pilgrims through facilitating traffic flow, proper deployment of men and equipment to monitor causes that may hamper public order or traffic.
The Health Directorate in Madinah has prepared all medical services in terms of diagnosis, treatment and hospitalization if necessary. It also put in place a preventive program for infectious and epidemic diseases.
The branch of the Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MCI) in Madinah has worked out a plan to conduct field visits to markets to ensure that all food items are available, traders are complying with the fixed prices, and markets are free from commercial fraud.
The ministry’s inspectors make visits to hotels, housing complexes and furnished units to ensure compliance with the required cleanliness and set prices.
The Saudi Red Crescent Commission (SRCC) in Madinah provides all emergency medical services to pilgrims within and on the roads leading to the holy city.
The SRCC also deploys emergency services and ambulances in the yards of the Prophet’s Mosque. More than 500 employees, including physicians, technicians and drivers are prepared to carry out the SRCC’s plans, supported by hundreds of volunteers and scouts distributed in locations throughout the holy mosque and other pilgrim-grouping centers.