Kingdom’s expansion projects, development of holy sites raise Hajj pilgrim numbers

Hundreds of thousands of Hajj pilgrims listen to a first Friday sermon of Dul Hajjah at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. (SPA)
Updated 26 August 2017

Kingdom’s expansion projects, development of holy sites raise Hajj pilgrim numbers

MAKKAH: Continuous expansion of the Two Holy Mosques and the holy sites, as well as the upgrading of services and infrastructure there, have played a significant role in increasing the number of pilgrims coming to perform Hajj in recent years.
“The Ministry of Culture and Information monitors quantitative and qualitative development to highlight the tremendous efforts made to serve pilgrims,” said the director of the operations room at the ministry, Abdulkhaliq Al-Zahrani.
The Kingdom is implementing huge projects aimed at raising the capacity of the mosques and developing Makkah, Madinah and all holy sites.
“The best witness to the efforts of the Kingdom is the tremendous development in the Jamarat bridge project and the surrounding area, and in Mina and Muzdalifah, and the expansion of the Jamarat complex, which consists of four floors in addition to the ground floor to accommodate nearly 4 million pilgrims,” Al-Zahrani said.
There is also rail transport for pilgrims from Muzdalifah and their tents in Mina to Jamarat bridge, as well as the creation of shaded bridges and well-ventilated tunnels.
Meanwhile, the General Command of Air Security has intensified air patrols in the skies over Makkah and Madinah, local media reported.
This implementation is part of the Hajj plan’s second phase, said Maj. Gen. Mohammed bin Eid Al-Harbi, the aviation security commander.
Al-Harbi said that the plan consists of several stages and the second phase will monitor the security situation and traffic, influx of pilgrims, and detect infiltration routes of pilgrims without permits.
He added that the second phase will also monitor human traffic in the central area of the Two Holy Mosques and the roads leading to them.
He added that “the flights are being increased to follow the security situation and to keep a close eye on the pilgrims’ movement during their overnight travel to Makkah.”

350,000 books to feature at Jeddah fair

Updated 14 November 2019

350,000 books to feature at Jeddah fair

JEDDAH: Hundreds of authors from around the world are preparing to take part in a prestigious Saudi book festival.

The Jeddah International Book Fair, to be staged in South Obhur from Dec. 11 to 21, will feature more than 350,000 volumes to cater to all reading tastes.

Now in its fifth edition, the cultural event, run under the patronage of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, will see the participation of 400 Saudi, Arab and international publishing houses from 40 different countries.

Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed, who is head of the fair’s supreme committee, has been coordinating the organization of the event which will include book-signing sessions by 200 authors.

The exhibition, occupying 30,000 square meters, is one of the biggest specialized expos in the Kingdom, and aims to promote reading and the cultural environment.

The fair will also include a program of seminars, lectures and indoor and outdoor theater productions, along with documentary films for families and children, and workshops in visual arts, photography and Arabic calligraphy.

The Jeddah fair is supported by Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, who believes it reflects the city’s culture and traditions, along with backing from Minister of Media Turki Al-Shabanah. SPA Jeddah