Fire breaks out in 15-story Makkah hotel, 600 pilgrims evacuated

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Makkah police and Civil Defense teams are seen in Al-Aziziya district, where a fire broke out in one Makkah's hotels. (Photo courtesy: social media)
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Civil Defense teams are seen evacuating hotel residents in Makkah's Al-Aziziya district after a fire broke out in the hotel. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 21 August 2017

Fire breaks out in 15-story Makkah hotel, 600 pilgrims evacuated

JEDDAH: Six hundred Turkish and Yemeni pilgrims survived a fire that broke out in a hotel in Makkah’s Al-Aziziyah neighborhood after they were evacuated by emergency response teams, Saudi state news agency SPA reported Monday.
Official spokesman for the General Directorate of Civil Defense in Makkah Maj. Nayef Al-Sharif said that “flames were coming from a faulty air conditioning unit on the eighth floor of the 15-story hotel, which was inhabited by 600 pilgrims from Turkey and Yemen.”
He added that “all the hotel guests were evacuated as a precautionary measure by rescue teams while the fire was put out and the situation brought under control without causing any injuries or loss of life.”
Al- Sharif said that a team was investigating the cause of the incident in coordination with the concerned authorities and added that guests had been allowed back in the hotel.
Pilgrims are expected to flock to Makkah from all over the world to perform the fifth pillar of Islam, the Hajj pilgrimage.
In a similar incident, a fire took hold of six buildings, three of which collapsed completely, in Jeddah’s historic center Tuesday, forcing 60 people to evacuate.


Saudi King praises role of women at W20 summit

Updated 56 min 24 sec ago

Saudi King praises role of women at W20 summit

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has praised the exceptional role played by women during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a speech delivered at the end of the W20, the G20 women’s engagement group, on Wednesday, King Salman said: “I would like to express my gratitude to the Women 20 Engagement Group for their remarkable efforts and commitment to deliver their agenda during these unprecedented times caused by the COVID -19 pandemic.”
The Saudi king described women as the source of evolution for any society and said that without empowered women it is difficult to reform societies. 
“Women are the main source of development for any society. Hence, without empowered women, it is almost impossible to implement any societal reforms given that women form half of the societies and they are the ones who raise up generations. Women has proven through history their remarkable role in leading change and in decision making.”
The king noted that Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 has dedicated special attention to discussing policies related to women across different ministerial and working group meetings.