Over 2m flock to Mina as Hajj begins

Hundreds of thousands of Muslim worshippers from around the world on Wednesday began moving from the holy city of Makkah to Mina for the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. (Adnan Al-Mahdali)
Updated 31 August 2017

Over 2m flock to Mina as Hajj begins

MINA: More than two million Muslims from around the world arrived in Mina to spend the day of Tarwiyah and follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Pilgrims will then head to Mount Arafat on Thursday.
Thousands of security men accompanied the flows of pilgrims along Mina’s wide roads, bridges and tunnels. The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) mission at the holy sites monitored the pilgrims heading from Makkah to Mina. Their journey went smoothly despite the huge number of vehicles and pedestrians. Traffic patrols were assisted by security forces in their efforts to organize the traffic, guide pilgrims and maintain security.
The Ministry of Health is offering medical and health care services to pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season by providing thousands of doctors, nurses and specialists appointed to serve pilgrims. These members work at hospitals near the holy sites and Makkah. The ministry assists the relevant authorities in carrying out the general emergency plan and dealing with emergencies that might arise during the pilgrims’ stop in Mina and Jamaarat bridge.
Along with the ministry, medical service departments of the National Guard Ministry, and the Defense Ministry and its hospitals appointed hundreds of their members to offer medical and treatment services to pilgrims at the holy sites.
The Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA) is providing its services through thousands of members appointed to serve Hajjis. The organization designated a fleet of 100 ambulances spread throughout the holy sites.


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.