Saudi Hajj ministry confirms measures for Qatari pilgrims, says Doha government blocking access to Kingdom

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Saturday it had taken several measures to ensure Qatari Hajj pilgrims could enter the Kingdom for the upcoming season, but that Doha was blocking access for its citizens. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 17 July 2019

Saudi Hajj ministry confirms measures for Qatari pilgrims, says Doha government blocking access to Kingdom

  • Statement said the delegation from Doha left meeting without signing any agreement
  • Statement also rejected Qatari claims the Kingdom was trying to “politicize” Hajj season

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Saturday it had taken several measures to ensure Qatari Hajj pilgrims could enter the Kingdom for the upcoming season, adding that the Qatari government was blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage.

Following a meeting of the ministry and a Qatari delegation to discuss the logistics of pilgrims from the country coming into the Kingdom, a statement said the delegation from Doha left without signing any agreement to enable access for it citizens.

In response to Doha’s actions, the statement said the Kingdom welcomed Qatari worshippers completing their applications once they arrived in Saudi Arabia.

The ministry said during the meeting it had called on the relevant authorities in Qatar to allow pilgrims to enter the Kingdom to perform Hajj and that Saudi Arabia was “keen to enable Qatari residents to perform religious rituals.”

A statement from the ministry rejected claims by Qatari officials that Saudi Arabia was putting obstacles in the way of worshippers from Qatar, adding that it had facilitated "several electronic portals" for Qatari citizens to book their places.

The statement also rejected Qatari claims that the Kingdom was trying to “politicize” the Hajj season.


Wait is almost over for music fans eager to learn who will headline E-Prix concerts

Updated 13 November 2019

Wait is almost over for music fans eager to learn who will headline E-Prix concerts

  • Organizers promise this year’s line-up of international stars at Diriyah event will be bigger than ever

RIYADH: The first of the major international music acts that will perform at the Diriyah E-Prix this month will be announced on Wednesday.

There were incredible scenes at the event last year when David Guetta, One Republic, the Black Eyed Peas, Amr Diab, Enrique Iglesias and Jason Derulo rocked the UNESCO World Heritage site. About 40,000 fans flocked to the Diriyah Circuit, on the outskirts of Riyadh, for the after-race concerts, the first unsegregated music events in Saudi Arabia

The stage is set for even bigger and better things this year, with the promise of another two nights of unmissable music on Nov. 22 and 23 as the E-Prix racing returns.

“If you were one of the 40,000 who were lucky enough to be part of that watershed moment (last year) for the Kingdom, believe me, you have not seen anything yet,” said Prince Abdul Aziz Al-Faisal Al-Saud, chairman of the General Sports Authority.

“Last year we told people before we announced (the acts) they should get their tickets early to avoid disappointment. Once we revealed who was coming, the tickets sold out incredibly quickly. This year will be the same but even bigger, so for music fans who want to enjoy the biggest concerts in Saudi Arabia, the smart move is to get your ticket now.”

The Diriyah E Prix kicks off the sixth season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s premier all-electric motorsport series, with a double header of races. It also marks the start of Diriyah Season, a month of sport, entertainment, art, cultural festivities, food and retail experiences. Tickets for the Diriyah E Prix, which include entry to the after-race concerts, are available at www.diriyahseason.sa.