Saudi Arabia lets Qatari pilgrims book Umrah packages in KSA after Doha blocks online booking

Procedures have been made easier for Qatari pilgrims. (SPA)
Updated 17 May 2019

Saudi Arabia lets Qatari pilgrims book Umrah packages in KSA after Doha blocks online booking

  • Saudi Arabia simplified procedures for Qatar pilgrims

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia announced on Friday that Qatari pilgrims can now book Umrah packages upon their arrival in the Kingdom, no longer needing to do it while in Qatar.

They will be able to do this at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, the main port of entry for most pilgrims, the Saudi Press Agency reported, quoting the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

The decision was a consequence of Qatari authorities denying the pilgrims their right to electronically apply for Umrah visas at home, the ministry said.

This week Saudi Arabia activated a new web link to handle requests from Qatari nationals wishing to perform the Umrah pilgrimage.

The new link is: https://qtumra.haj.gov.sa

The ministry set up the new link because access to the previous one was blocked by Qatari authorities, SPA said.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly said that Qatari nationals are welcome to perform pilgrimages to the Kingdom, despite the diplomatic rift between the two countries. 

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates broke trade and diplomatic relations in June 2017 with Qatar, whom they accused of hosting and financing terror organizations. 


Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

Updated 14 October 2019

Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

  • King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcome Russian leader at Al-Yamamah Palace
  • 20 deals of cooperation were signed between the two countries

DUBAI: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Riyadh on Monday on his first visit since 2007, and was welcomed to Al-Yamamah Palace by Saudi King Salman as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar earlier personally welcomed the Russian leader as he disembarked from his aircraft at King Khalid International Airport.

An official welcoming ceremony was held in honor of Putin and various agreements were signed between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Russia including an oil cooperation pact.

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READ MORE: Dedicated Arab News ‘Putin in Saudi Arabia’ spotlight

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Some 20 agreements were signed between the two countries, in a ceremony overseen by the king, crown prince, Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF and Saudi Arabia's SALIC signed an agreement to team up in searching for investment projects in the Russian agricultural sector, RDIF said in a statement on Monday.

A string of multi-million-dollar investment contracts were also signed in the aerospace, culture, health and advanced technology sectors.

Putin’s “long-awaited” visit will include discussions on “further cooperation to stabilize prices on the world carbohydrate market” as well as the situation in Syria, the Gulf and Yemen.

The Russian leader, in an interview with Arab broadcasters and aired on Sunday ahead of his arrival, described the “very good relations” with the Saudi leadership.

“We consider Saudi Arabia a friendly nation. I have very good relations with both the King and the Crown Prince,” Putin said, and noted the improved bilateral relations between both countries.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Vladimir Putin visits Saudi Arabia

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Putin in the interview likewise condemned the Sept. 14 attacks on Aramco facilities, and said “such actions do not bring any positive results to anybody, including perpetrators,” as they do not have a strong effect on the market.

“We condemn any such actions, end of story. This is the official position … regardless of who stood behind the incident,” the Russian president commented.

A forum attended by Saudi Arabian and Russian business leaders and government officials earlier Monday resulted in the signing of several agreements between companies of both countries.

(Developing)