Qatari pilgrims laud Saudi Arabia for Hajj services

A pilgrim uses an umbrella to protect his wife from the sun while she is praying at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. (Reuters)
Updated 07 September 2017

Qatari pilgrims laud Saudi Arabia for Hajj services

AL-AHSA: Qatari pilgrims said that the Kingdom provided them with all facilities and services to perform their Hajj rituals.
These remarks were made by Qatari pilgrims as they returned to their country through the Salwa border crossing following directives from King Salman to open the border to allow Qataris to enter the Kingdom to perform Hajj, following mediation by Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani.
They said all means of comfort and facilities were provided, especially since there were 354 more Qatari pilgrims than last year.
A number of Qatari pilgrims arrived on Tuesday at the border on their way to Doha. Some came by land from Makkah and others had picked up their cars which were parked at the Dammam and Al-Ahsa airports.
For his part, the director of the Salwa customs department, Abdulrahman Aba Al-Khail, said the number of Qatari pilgrims who have left the Kingdom reached 130 after performing Hajj.
Hamad Falih, Qatari pilgrim, said Saudi Arabia was known to help the needy, adding that procedures were easy.
Mohammed Al-Mirri said Saudi Arabia was known for providing services and the development of infrastructure in Makkah, notably in the holy sites.
He noted a big difference in terms of services compared to previous years where security men were deployed in all parts of the holy sites, while humanitarian services were always available.
He said there were Hajj missions in Doha that used to provide services to Qatari pilgrims but what they found with the Guests of King Salman for Hajj and Umrah Program was far better, especially in the holy sites and transportation.
Meanwhile, some 1.93 million travelers left Saudi Arabia in the past two weeks, 45 percent of them during the four days of Eid, according to official statistics published by Aleqtesadiah daily.
Meanwhile, the General Directorate of Passports stressed the importance for Saudis of holding undamaged, valid and up-to-date travel documents.
Saudis traveling to Gulf countries only need their national ID cards. But the passports of Saudis traveling to other Arab countries should be valid for at least three months, while the passports of those traveling to non-Arab countries should be valid for a minimum of six months.


US Consulate General in Dhahran celebrates 244 years of independence, 75 years of US-Saudi partnership

Updated 20 February 2020

US Consulate General in Dhahran celebrates 244 years of independence, 75 years of US-Saudi partnership

  • Consul General Rachna Korhonen: I want to say thank you to the amazing people of Sharqiya who remind me every day how warm, wonderful, welcoming, hospitable, and kind Saudis are
  • Although US Independence Day is July 4, the consulate traditionally celebrates the occasion in the spring due to the pleasant weather this time of the year

DHAHRAN: The US Consulate General in Dhahran hosted its 2020 National Day reception on Feb. 19 to celebrate 244 years of American Independence, and the 75th anniversary of the historic meeting between US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Saudi King Abdul Aziz aboard the USS Quincy.

Consul General Rachna Korhonen and her husband Juha Korhonen welcomed the deputy governor of the Eastern Province, Khalid Al-Battal, and deputy governor of Alkhobar, Abdullah bin Ali Al-Seef, as the guests of honor.

Although US Independence Day is July 4, the consulate traditionally celebrates the occasion in the spring due to the pleasant weather this time of the year.

“Seventy-five years ago, two great leaders met aboard the USS Quincy. President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz met to chart the future of our bilateral ties. This first encounter between a US president and a Saudi King laid the foundation for the broad strategic partnership the US and Saudi Arabia share today. Beyond partnership, President Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz forged a personal friendship that is at the heart of the strong ties our two countries share today,” said Korhonen.

She added: “As the first woman to be consul general here, it has been an exciting journey for me. I arrived to Dhahran in August 2017, to a country undergoing remarkable changes.  Vision 2030 has opened new possibilities, tourism opportunities are growing, women are driving and attending sporting events. I have said this many times and it is still true: I have the best job in the best place at the best time.

“Most of all, I want to say thank you to the amazing people of Sharqiya (Eastern Province) who remind me every day how warm, wonderful, welcoming, hospitable, and kind Saudis are. I have made friendships that I know are going to last me a lifetime. When I leave here this summer, I will certainly leave a piece of my heart here but I also plan to take a little piece of your heart with me.”