Saudi Arabia trains 500 officers to greet pilgrims

The General Directorate of Passports has assigned students who speak English, Spanish, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Urdu, Turkish and other languages to the airports in Jeddah and Madinah in order to facilitate communication and dealing with Hajj pilgrims. (SPA)
Updated 31 July 2019

Saudi Arabia trains 500 officers to greet pilgrims

  • Trainees on learning schemes cover more than 10 languages including Urdu
  • Special language training is part of efforts to improve communication with pilgrims traveling to the Kingdom

RIYADH: Hundreds of Saudi passport control students are being given special language training as part of efforts to improve communication with pilgrims traveling to the Kingdom.
The Saudi General Directorate of Passports currently has 500 trainees on learning schemes covering more than 10 languages, said Brig. Gen. Dr. Saleh bin Saad Al-Merbaa, director of general administration for training in the passport department.
“This program is not the first, it began two years ago, but each year it is developing, updating and setting more precise criteria for selecting the best applicants from the students and subjecting them to the required training programs in order to contribute to the development of their skills,” he added. 
The students who are well versed in English, Spanish, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Urdu, Turkish and other languages, have been appointed at Hajj terminals in Jeddah and in Madinah to assist international pilgrims.
Saudi authorities have also taken other steps to help pilgrims perform Hajj rituals with maximum comfort and ease.
If pilgrims are lost, in need of help, have a medical emergency or faced with any other issue during Hajj this 
year, they can just dial 911 and a team of competent young Saudis will be ready to help.
The National Center for Security Operations at the Saudi Interior Ministry launched its 911 call center five years ago in Makkah, with three additional centers in Riyadh, Shargiyah and Madinah.
Workers at the centers also speak various languages, including Urdu, English, French, German and Indonesian, in addition to being adept at English, Spanish, Japanese, Persian, Turkish and other tongues.
Besides, a 24-hour, seven days a week call center has also been set up, which sends out SMS-es with the following message: “Dear pilgrims, your service is an honor and your security is our duty. Policemen are ready to fulfill your urgent needs on 911.”
The center is also active on Twitter, updating pilgrims with the latest news on weather, and other information pertaining to their travel. 


Pakistani FM, Saudi envoy discuss regional issues

Updated 28 November 2019

Pakistani FM, Saudi envoy discuss regional issues

  • Ambassador Nawaf discussed bilateral ties with FM Qureshi
  • Earlier this week, Prince Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud visited Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Ambassador Nawaf Saeed Al Malki met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad on Wednesday to discuss regional issues of mutual interest, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy good relations and have established long-term programs of strategic cooperation over the past few decades.

Earlier this week, Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud visited Islamabad and met with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Saudi prince’s visit was related to his charity projects in Pakistan, for which the prime minister expressed his appreciation, underscoring the uniqueness of Pakistani-Saudi ties, the PM’s office said in a statement after the meeting on Tuesday.