First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey
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The first batch of Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims are seen before their departure at Colombo Airport on Monday evening. (Photo Courtesy: Traveler Global)
First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey
2 / 2
The first batch of Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims are seen before their departure at Colombo Airport on Monday evening. (Photo Courtesy: Traveler Global)
Updated 17 July 2019

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey
  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.


Yazeed Al-Humied, head of Local Holdings Investments at the Saudi Public Investment Fund

Yazeed Al-Humied
Yazeed Al-Humied
Updated 15 January 2021

Yazeed Al-Humied, head of Local Holdings Investments at the Saudi Public Investment Fund

Yazeed Al-Humied

Yazeed Al-Humied is the newly appointed head of Local Holdings Investments at the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).

From October 2016 until December 2020, he was the PIF’s chief of staff, managing the fund’s relationships and creating strategic partnerships locally and internationally.

He also managed internal institutional and investment projects to ensure they were completed on time and met quality standards and developed a governance model for PIF portfolio companies while monitoring their performance.

On top of his new role, Al-Humied will contribute to the PIF as a member of various permanent committees including those responsible for management, and portfolio company nomination.

In addition, he sits as chairman of the National Security Services Co., vice chairman of both the Samba Financial Group and the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), and is a board member of Saudia airline, the Saudi Civil Aviation Holding Co., and Saudi low-cost carrier flyadeal.

Al-Humied joined PIF as an adviser to the fund’s governor in 2015. In his one-year advisory role, he was responsible for the restructuring, strategy crafting, and posting of PIF’s reallocation to the Saudi Council of Economic and Development Affairs.

He started his career in 2004 with multinational professional services company PricewaterhouseCoopers and four years later joined the Capital Market Authority (CMA) where he headed mergers and acquisitions.

Al-Humied gained a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Riyadh’s King Saud University in 2004 and he is also an alumnus of the London Business School’s corporate finance modular program.