Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia via Makkah Route initiative

Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia via Makkah Route initiative
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Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia arrived in Saudi Arabia aboard 90 flights between July 4 and July 11 as part of the Makkah Route initiative. (SPA)
Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia via Makkah Route initiative
2 / 3
Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia arrived in Saudi Arabia aboard 90 flights between July 4 and July 11 as part of the Makkah Route initiative. (SPA)
Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia via Makkah Route initiative
3 / 3
Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia arrived in Saudi Arabia aboard 90 flights between July 4 and July 11 as part of the Makkah Route initiative. (SPA)
Updated 15 July 2019

Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia via Makkah Route initiative

Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia via Makkah Route initiative
  • The Makkah Route initiative is expected to serve more than 225,000 pilgrims coming from airports in Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tunisia
  • The service includes issuing visas, ensuring compliance with health requirements and codifying and sorting luggage at airports in the pilgrims’ own countries

RIYADH: Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia arrived in Saudi Arabia aboard 90 flights between July 4 and July 11 as part of the Makkah Route initiative, Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports announced this week.
“33 flights carrying 13,317 pilgrims arrived through Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport, while 57 flights carrying 23,427 pilgrims arrived through Madinah’s Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport,” the directorate said, as 36,744 Hajj pilgrims were recorded arriving in the Kingdom during the period.
Pilgrims received a warm welcome from all bodies taking part in the initiative from the moment they left their countries to the moment they arrived at their residences in either Makkah or Madinah, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The Makkah Route initiative is expected to serve more than 225,000 pilgrims coming from airports in Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tunisia.
The service includes issuing visas, ensuring compliance with health requirements and codifying and sorting luggage at airports in the pilgrims’ own countries.
This enables them to bypass procedures on arrival in the Kingdom and to head directly to buses waiting to transport them to their accommodation in Makkah and Madinah.
Service authorities deliver pilgrims’ luggage to their accommodation in the holy cities.
The initiative aims to provide the best service possible for pilgrims by completing their entry into the Kingdom from airports in their countries.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs grants beneficiaries of the initiative e-Hajj visas after inserting pilgrims’ data in the electronic tracking of Hajj visas.


Fraudulent ad promoters on social media could face hefty fines, jail in Saudi Arabia

Fraudulent ad promoters on social media could face hefty fines, jail in Saudi Arabia
Fraudulent ad promoters on social media could face hefty fines and jail in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Updated 8 min 9 sec ago

Fraudulent ad promoters on social media could face hefty fines, jail in Saudi Arabia

Fraudulent ad promoters on social media could face hefty fines, jail in Saudi Arabia
  • Ibrahim provides an alternate method for consumers to be informed about a product and avoid being fooled by influencers

JEDDAH: Those who promote and advertise fraudulent goods on social media sites have been warned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecution that they could face up to three years in prison or a SR1 million ($267,000) fine, or both.
Victims of such misselling told Arab News of the emotional and financial costs of falling prey to such schemes.
Noaf Abdulaziz from Jeddah said that she had been deceived into purchasing products that were counterfeit. “There is this one very well-known influencer at a high caliber of fame who was promoting her own makeup brand. Due to her status and constant promotion of her products on social media, I figured they must be legit. I bought them (the products) and threw them out the same day. They weren’t anything like how she had described or promised. I felt like I was fooled.”
This is not an isolated incident for Abdulaziz. She said she wasted SR400 on a travel kit for women that was promoted on social media. “When I came to use it, everything fell apart and nothing worked. I paid for nothing. It was a waste,” she said. “I got tired of all the fakeness and money-hungry people who kept lying to us.” 
It is not only counterfeit beauty products that are being promoted.
Kawthar Ali, a mother of two, revealed how the nature of social media’s promotions of fraudulent products could affect a married couple. “A famous and admired influencer gave birth exactly four months after I did. Naturally, I followed her every move and saw the high-standard products she bought and advised to buy for our babies. I could not afford most of the mothercare products she promoted but I still insisted that my husband pay for them because as a mother you want the best of the best for your children,” she told Arab News.

HIGHLIGHT

When the fines were first announced in 2017, the Consumer Protection Association urged consumers to be aware of the exaggerated language that influencers can use to promote products or services and to remind themselves that influencers are being paid.

“This created a rift between my husband and I when the products were not up to par with how she promoted them.”
When the fines were first announced in 2017, the Consumer Protection Association urged consumers to be aware of the exaggerated language that influencers can use to promote products or services and to remind themselves that influencers are being paid.
“I’ve witnessed too many people I know being affected by promotions. I think people need to remember that these are all paid promotions and everything is exaggerated; they are being robbed of their time, effort and money by individuals who are profiting from lying to their viewers. It’s like a betrayal or a break of trust,” Manal Ibrahim, a designer in Jeddah, told Arab News.
Ibrahim also provides an alternate method for consumers to be informed about a product and avoid being fooled by influencers. “Certain brands have promotional pages on Instagram. This way a person can go to the page of the company, research the products themselves and read reviews on them before deciding to pay.”


Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Al-Arifi, deputy director general at Saudi Arabia's Institute of Public Administration

Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Al-Arifi, deputy director general at Saudi Arabia's Institute of Public Administration
Updated 20 min 25 sec ago

Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Al-Arifi, deputy director general at Saudi Arabia's Institute of Public Administration

Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Al-Arifi, deputy director general at Saudi Arabia's Institute of Public Administration

Abdulrahman Al-Arifi is deputy director general for research and consultation at the Institute of Public Administration (IPA).

In 2001, he received a master’s degree in computer science from the University of New Orleans, US. In 2012, he obtained a Ph.D. in information systems from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia. His doctoral thesis was nominated for the QUT outstanding doctoral thesis award in 2015.

Al-Arifi joined IPA as a faculty member in 1996. Some of his main responsibilities are to oversee, evaluate and innovate IPA research and consultancy services that are provided to the public and private sectors.

He is chair of the scientific council and the supervisor general of the editorial board of the Public Administration Journal, which oversees IPA’s academic activities. He has also served as both member and consultant in many government committees.

Before his appointment, Al-Arifi served as IT director general, where he was responsible for overseeing and monitoring the execution of projects in the four departments of applications, operations, customer services and information security.

Through his research activities, he leads and assists in the production of authentic and in-depth studies that analyze and address administrative issues. He also supervises consultation activities and assists in providing professional consultations based on modern scientific methodologies.

Al-Arifi, a certified ITIL V3, has won several awards for his research. In 2015, he was recognized by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission in Australia for his academic performance.


Saudi Hajj ministry warns against using fake registration links

Saudi Hajj ministry warns against using fake registration links
Updated 35 min 41 sec ago

Saudi Hajj ministry warns against using fake registration links

Saudi Hajj ministry warns against using fake registration links
  • More than 500,000 people have applied to perform the Hajj this year so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has warned citizens and residents against dealing with bogus Hajj companies that are not listed on the online portal for pilgrims.
The ministry also urged all citizens and residents to be wary of unlicensed adverts on social media that do not have official endorsement.
It advised people to report any agency, company or link claiming to provide permits or services to pilgrims for Hajj 2021 outside the framework of the portal.
Deputy Hajj minister Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat said that pilgrims should only book the services of Hajj companies and institutions through the authorized online registration portal for pilgrims.
More than 500,000 people have applied to perform the Hajj this year so far.


Saudi Arabia announces 13 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 13 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 19 June 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 13 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 13 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 454,404
  • A total of 7,663 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 13 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,153 new infections on Saturday.
Of the new cases, 335 were recorded in Makkah, 266 in Riyadh, 148 in the Eastern Province, 119 in Asir, 84 in Jazan, 63 in Madinah, 27 in Najran, 23 in Tabuk, 17 in Hail, 12 in Al-Baha, 10 in the Northern Borders region, and four in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 454,404 after 1,145 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 7,663 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 16.4 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Arab coalition destroys 11 Houthi drones targeting southern Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys 11 Houthi drones targeting southern Saudi Arabia
Updated 18 min 25 sec ago

Arab coalition destroys 11 Houthi drones targeting southern Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys 11 Houthi drones targeting southern Saudi Arabia
  • Iran-backed Houthi militia have consistently launched attacks against the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s air defenses destroyed 11 Houthi drones launched toward the Kingdom’s southern region on Saturday.
A booby-trapped drone targeted Khamis Mushait early morning before seven more targeting the southern region were intercepted in Yemeni airspace during the afternoon.
Khamis Mushait was again targeted by two drones in the evening.

Another drone targeted Najran late evening. 
The Houthi militia’s deliberate and systematic escalation against Yemenis constitutes a war crime, the coalition said, adding that it was taking measures to protect civilians from hostile attacks.
The Iran-backedHouthis have been attacking the Kingdom with explosives-laden drones on an almost daily basis in recent weeks despite US, UN and Saudi calls for a ceasefire in Yemen.

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