329,000 people stopped from entering Makkah for lack of Hajj permit

Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal tours the holy places in Makkah on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 05 August 2019

329,000 people stopped from entering Makkah for lack of Hajj permit

  • 15 arrested for illegally transporting pilgrims, 181 bogus Hajj offices closed
  • The measure is enforced during the Hajj season to prevent congestion

JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal on Sunday said more than 329,000 people had been stopped from entering the holy city since the start of the Hajj season for lack of Hajj permit.

More than 144,000 vehicles without permits had also been disallowed from entering the city, 15 drivers had been arrested for illegally transporting pilgrims, and 181 bogus Hajj offices had been closed, said the governor, who is also chairman of the Supreme Hajj Committee.

The measure is enforced every Hajj season to prevent congestion.

Prince Khalid said the Saudi government has mobilized more than 350,000 people from different sectors to serve Hajj pilgrims.

He also said Saudi Arabia is not responsible for obstacles put up by the Qatari government to impede its citizens who want to perform Hajj.

“We’re not responsible for what they do. We’re responsible for what we do. We’ve opened the doors of the country and our hearts to receive pilgrims from all over the world. We serve them equally, and we welcome them in the holy land,” he said.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had created a new webpage for Qataris who wish to perform the pilgrimage this year. It then called on Qatar not to block the webpage as it did previously.

Qatari Hajj pilgrims can register their details, browse packages and pay for them at: qatar1440.haj.gov.sa

Pilgrims “are here for Hajj and worship. Let them dedicate themselves to worship and leave the other things. They’ll be welcomed and served by Saudis,” the governor said.




Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

Updated 18 October 2019

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

  • The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date

RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.

The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.

The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.

In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.

The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.

The audience watched the parade from specially built stands. (Supplied)


The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.

The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.