Mashair One exhibition showcases improved services for pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia

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The Mashair One exhibition aims to encourage businesses to come up with further fresh ideas and technical innovations that can help to enrich the experiences of the millions of people who visit the holy places each year. (AN photo by Ahmed Hashad)
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The Mashair One exhibition aims to encourage businesses to come up with further fresh ideas and technical innovations that can help to enrich the experiences of the millions of people who visit the holy places each year. (AN photo by Ahmed Hashad)
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The Mashair One exhibition aims to encourage businesses to come up with further fresh ideas and technical innovations that can help to enrich the experiences of the millions of people who visit the holy places each year. (AN photo by Ahmed Hashad)
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The Mashair One exhibition aims to encourage businesses to come up with further fresh ideas and technical innovations that can help to enrich the experiences of the millions of people who visit the holy places each year. (AN photo by Ahmed Hashad)
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The Mashair One exhibition aims to encourage businesses to come up with further fresh ideas and technical innovations that can help to enrich the experiences of the millions of people who visit the holy places each year. (AN photo by Ahmed Hashad)
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The Mashair One exhibition aims to encourage businesses to come up with further fresh ideas and technical innovations that can help to enrich the experiences of the millions of people who visit the holy places each year. (AN photo by Ahmed Hashad)
Updated 27 June 2019

Mashair One exhibition showcases improved services for pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia

  • The first groups of Hajj visitors will start arriving next week, with about two million expected in total

MAKKAH: The Mashair One exhibition, an international showcase of the latest developments and improvements in the services offered by Saudi Arabia to pilgrims, opened on Tuesday. The event aims to encourage businesses to come up with further fresh ideas and technical innovations that can help to enrich the experiences of the millions of people who visit the holy places each year.

The event, which is taking place in the camps of the National Tawafa Establishment for South Asian Pilgrims in Mina, was inaugurated by Makkah Deputy Governor Prince Badr bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz. The exhibitors included companies specializing in subsistence and housing, and twelve creative ideas for enhancing the Hajj experience were presented.

“There are many efforts exerted by Saudi Arabia to serve Hajj among the security, governmental and private sectors, and they are always ready to serve pilgrims,” said Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin. “The inauguration of the exhibition is part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to care for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, and all the sectors that serve the pilgrims.”

He noted that the exhibition was designed to highlight products and services that help to improve the quality of accommodation available to pilgrims in the holy places and to encourage the development of the services provided for them.

“The exhibition is based on the directives of the wise leadership, primarily King Salman, who makes every effort to provide all resources for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and visitors and improve the services provided to them,” said Bentin.

The Guests of God Service Program, a key initiative within Saudi Vision 2030, was inaugurated by King Salman during Ramadan. It is designed, Bentin said, to help the ministry prepare for the arrival of millions of pilgrims and provide them with services of the highest quality to assist them in the performance of their duties. This is achieved in conjunction with an integrated network of governmental and non-governmental bodies, in coordination with the Hajj Supreme Committee and the Central Committee.

The minister said that Hajj pilgrims will begin to arrive in Saudi Arabia next week and stressed that the authorities have been working hard on operational plans to serve their needs. About two million domestic and international pilgrims are expected this year. He offered them a warm welcome and said that the services they receive will be monitored and followed up, from those provided at their point of arrival to their accommodation to their return home.

“To familiarize officials with the services presented to Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, generate the best ideas and improve the accommodation for pilgrims in the holy places, the Hajj and Umrah Ministry organized Mashair One exhibition,” said Bentin. “It has attracted a large number of businesses and specialist companies from inside the country and abroad, so that we can benefit from their knowledge, experiences, technical means and creative ideas.”

Raafat Badr, chairman of the National Tawafa Establishment for South Asian Pilgrims, said: “The exhibition aims to be an international platform for companies that serve pilgrims in the holy places, in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”

Enhancements to accommodation for pilgrims includes improved air conditioning, bunk beds, mattresses, furniture, lighting, power provision, chilled drinking water, and recycling and waste-disposal services. In addition, improvements are being made to services for people with special needs, including adapted restrooms and kitchens, “smart camp” facilities are being enhanced, prepared meals can be provided and gifts will be presented to pilgrims.

The organizations and individuals in charge of improving Hajj services do so in accordance with international standards of safety and quality. They aim to: attract designers, engineers and suppliers from local businesses to present the best solutions for improving the pilgrimage experience and making it as comfortable as possible; build a professional platform that encourages international and local companies to create solutions; enrich the knowledge base of the Hajj sector; and promote the concept of moral and humanitarian investment in services for pilgrims.


All-female Saudi tourist group explores wonders of Tabuk

Updated 21 October 2019

All-female Saudi tourist group explores wonders of Tabuk

  • About 20 women from different parts of the Kingdom took part in the sightseeing trip to the province bordering the Red Sea

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s first all-female tourist group has explored the environmental and archaeological wonders of Tabuk in the northwest of the Kingdom.

About 20 women from different parts of the Kingdom took part in the sightseeing trip to the province bordering the Red Sea.

“They were astonished to see such sights in their country, especially the area of Ras Al-Sheikh Humaid,” said Heba Al-Aidai, a tour guide in Tabuk who organized the trip.

“They did not expect to see such a place in Saudi Arabia. They looked speechless while standing close to the turquoise water of the sea. It is a truly breathtaking view.”

Al-Aidai and her colleague Nafla Al-Anazi promoted the trip on social media and attracted a group of homemakers, teachers and staff workers from all over the Kingdom, aged from 22 to over 50.

The tour was educational, too, and the women were told about the history of the places they visited. “They were taken to the Caves of Shuaib (Magha’er Shuaib), the place where Prophet Moses fled after leaving Egypt, and where he got married to one of the daughters of Prophet Shuaib, according to some historians. It was really a positive experience,” Al-Aidai said.

The visitors also explored Tayeb Ism, a small town in northwestern Tabuk, where there is a well-known gap in the towering mountains through which water runs throughout the year.

Al-Aidai said such trips aim to encourage tourism in Tabuk, and introduce Saudi tourists and other visitors to the landmarks of the region.