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.

 

 

 


Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

Updated 19 October 2019

Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

  • The embassy said that evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety
  • Three Saudia aircraft were used to transport them

BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia's embassy in Lebanon has confirmed it has facilitated the “evacuation of Saudi residents and visitors” from the country.
“The evacuation operation, imposed by the security situation in Lebanon and the importance of ensuring the safety of Saudi nationals, started Saturday at 5 a.m. after the Kingdom secured three Saudia aircraft to transport them,” the embassy told Arab News.
“Three hundred people were evacuated as of Saturday afternoon, while the total number of those wishing to leave remains unclear. We have identified a hotel in Beirut as a starting point,” it added, noting that most of those who had left were tourists.
The embassy also confirmed evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety.
Protests broke out in Lebanon on Thursday night, and disorder has disrupted roads leading to the airport, with burning tires blocking several key routes.
On Friday, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged its citizens already in Lebanon to exercise “utmost caution.”
Egypt’s Embassy in Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.
“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA reported.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to the country to delay trips where possible.
“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” it said on social media site Twitter.
Bahrain and the UAE warned against travel to Lebanon and called on their citizens in the country to leave immediately.