Jeddah airport approves plan to receive Umrah pilgrims

Umrah pilgrims go through passport control upon their arrival at Jeddah airport. (AFP)
Updated 17 September 2018

Jeddah airport approves plan to receive Umrah pilgrims

  • More than 10 million Umrah pilgrims are expected to come through the airport

JEDDAH: Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport has approved an operational plan for this year’s Umrah season, announcing its preparedness to start receiving pilgrims.
The airport’s director general said the plan will be implemented under the supervision of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), and other government and civil institutions.
The plan aims to ensure pilgrims’ comfort and safety from their arrival in Jeddah until they board their return flights, he added.
More than 10 million Umrah pilgrims are expected to come through the airport, he said, praising GACA’s continuous monitoring of the quality of services provided.
KAIA is Saudi Arabia’s largest and the first facility to serve pilgrims traveling by air, accounting for 40 percent of passenger movement in the Kingdom.
The airport management has implemented a number of development projects in the north and south terminals to boost operational efficiency and provide better service to passengers.
Earlier, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on Saturday launched a weekly indicator whereby authorities can track the number of pilgrims coming into the Kingdom, and in turn enrich their experiences by providing high-quality services.
Abdul Aziz Wazzan, undersecretary at the ministry, said the initiative is part of Saudi’s Vision 2030. He said the ministry was working in coordination with all sectors and preparations were in place to welcome the pilgrims this year.
He said with the weekly data, authorities will have access to the information, such as the number of visas issued, the number of pilgrims visiting the Kingdom via air, land or sea, and the number of them landing in Makkah and Madinah.
Pilgrims from Pakistan and India led the list of visitors to the Kingdom, followed by those from Sri Lanka, Jordan and Kuwait.


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.