Saudi ministry hosts stranded Pakistani pilgrims

A temporary closure of air space over Pakistan snarled air traffic. (File/AFP)
Updated 01 March 2019

Saudi ministry hosts stranded Pakistani pilgrims

  • A temporary closure of air space over Pakistan snarled air traffic
  • The closing of Pakistan's airspace saw Gulf Arab airlines rapidly reshuffle their flights

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah will host Pakistani pilgrims to Makkah and Madinah who are unable to return home as a result of the outbreak in hostilities with India in Kashmir.

The announcement came after Islamabad closed its airspace, airports and canceled all flights in and out of the country. 

Planes flying to Pakistan from Jeddah, and Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah, will be grounded until further notice.

The Kingdom’s undersecretary for Umrah affairs, Abdulaziz Wazzan, said the ministry had opened reception centers to accommodate and feed any pilgrims whose flights had been canceled, and would continue to do so until alternatives could be arranged.

He said that the ministry was housing 2,000 Pakistani pilgrims in hotels in Makkah, with another 1,000 in Madinah. 

The welfare and safety of the pilgrims, Wazzan said, was their main priority. 


Saudi Arabia among top 10 in UN’s e-commerce index

Updated 09 December 2019

Saudi Arabia among top 10 in UN’s e-commerce index

  • The index ranked the Kingdom 49th in the global ranking

RIYADH: The UN e-commerce index ranked Saudi Arabia among the top 10 countries in the e-commerce sector. 

The index, issued by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, ranked the Kingdom 49th in the global ranking, rising three places in the general index.

The report indicated that the improvement achieved by the Kingdom came from two criteria: The proportion of Internet use — which has risen to 93 percent — and the rising postal reliability standard.

Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha said that this achievement came as a result of unlimited support from the leadership.

He added that the ministry works with partners to develop the Kingdom’s digital capabilities to invest in the growth of future projects in order to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plans.