Transport sector is ‘backbone’ in improving pilgrims’ services

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Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammed Salih Bentin and his deputy Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat witness the signing of agreements. (SPA)
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The Umrah Forum and Exhibition aims to meet the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan by providing the best services to pilgrims. (SPA)
Updated 29 August 2019

Transport sector is ‘backbone’ in improving pilgrims’ services

  • The Al-Rajhi Umrah Service Group also signed two agreements at the forum with the Saudi Arabia Public Transport Co. and another with Flynas

JEDDAH: Attendees at the second day of the Umrah Forum and Exhibition, launched under the patronage of Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, discussed the Doyof Al-Rahman program (DARP) and its role in improving pilgrims’ services. Other sessions covered investing in transport, the role of the smart platform and improving the quality of services and their monitoring mechanisms.
The executive vice president of DARP, Musaab Hashem, stressed the importance of enriching the pilgrims’ experience through allowing them to learn about the Kingdom’s historical sites.
Hashem added that DARP is coordinating with government bodies to provide the appropriate environment for operating cultural sites.
DARP CEO Ahmed Al-Harbi said the program had taken into account all initiatives related to the pilgrims’ journey.
The second session, titled “Invest in Transport,” addressed the importance of developing the transport sector to cope with the pressures of Hajj.
Bassam Ghulman, deputy minister for transportation affairs at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, said that the transport sector is the backbone supporting all other services provided to pilgrims.
Osama Samkari, general director assistant for transport at the General Syndicate of Cars, discussed the importance of transforming the sector into a high-quality industry.
Ahmed Khalil Qari, director of the field supervision department at the General Syndicate of Cars, said that good planning contributes to enriching pilgrims’ experience.
The third session, presided by Dr. Majed Abdullah, focused on DARP’s smart platform.
Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, the chief planning and strategy officer at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, said that enabling more pilgrims to perform Hajj and Umrah is one of DARP’s priorities. He added that technology is the best means for enriching their experience and developing services.
Hisham Al-Hammami, chief information officer in the information technology department of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, said that the technology transformation at the ministry has contributed significantly to the provision of packages of outstanding services to companies operating in the Hajj and Umrah system.


30m - The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.

Basim Zafar, head of the Vision Consultant Office, said that the smart card has helped health care centers access pilgrims’ health information and provide the right medical services.
He added that the smart platform plays an important role in eliminating the infiltration of illegal pilgrims.
During the fourth session, the ministry’s undersecretary for Umrah affairs, Dr. Abdul Aziz Wazzan said: “We will not tolerate companies that provide unsatisfactory services to pilgrims.”
Mohammed Al-Akkad, assistant undersecretary for pilgrims’ affairs, said that the electronic path system shows pilgrims their route from the moment they arrive in the Kingdom until they depart.
On the second day of the forum, several workshops were held with specialized companies in the pilgrimage sector.
Meanwhile, the minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Mohammed Salih Bentin, attended the signing of strategic agreements and partnerships.
Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, and Dr. Adnan Al-Humaidan, director of the University of Jeddah, signed a partnership agreement for volunteer training.
The university also signed agreements with the Sejel Technology, the Saudi Arabia Public Transport Co. and Unified Elzimazemh.
Bentin also sponsored an agreement between the faculty of tourism at King Abdul Aziz University and Jabal Omar Development Co. and another between the university and Flynas, Saudi Arabia’s first budget airline.
The Al-Rajhi Umrah Service Group also signed two agreements at the forum with the Saudi Arabia Public Transport Co. and another with Flynas.

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

Updated 15 November 2019

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

  • MoUs with top firms such as Chinese tech giant Huawei, French oil major Total open new opportunities

RIYADH: The Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Foundation Misk Initiatives Center has signed 12 memorandums of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh with local and international companies to support and develop youth talent.

Among the companies were the Chinese tech giant Huawei, the French oil firm Total, the Emirati Federal Youth Authority, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

The agreements stipulated joint work between the two parties in the fields of talent development in Saudi Arabia and information and communications technology, in accordance with the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

This initiative aims to find ways of cooperation and employment opportunities between the two parties.

The MoU signed between the center and the Emirati Federal Youth Authority provides for the enhancement of joint cooperation in support of youth. 

The two parties will seek to discuss future cooperation, to build a strategic partnership between the two parties in exploring potential cooperative opportunities and setting a framework for such cooperation, in addition to organizing the exchange of technologies and innovations through the joint organization of courses, forums and workshops.

The MoU aims at creating a specialized scientific dialogue between the two parties, conducting joint research at the institutes in the field of entrepreneurship and the skills of the future, considering launching joint initiatives, and examining the possibilities of cooperative programs based on the extensive experience of Misk and the Federal Youth Authority.

Misk’s Initiatives Center agreement with Total will promote joint cooperation, find training opportunities for Saudi talent at the company’s headquarters and facilities, and cooperate on educational programs that support entrepreneurship and an ecosystem for startup companies, especially in the fields of energy and technology.

The Misk Global Forum also witnessed the signing of a MoU with “Hub71” to promote learning and leadership among Saudi youth, and enhance opportunities for joint collaboration, in addition to two MoUs with 500 startups and seed stars “to promote joint cooperation between the two parties, to develop and grow the business of startups and provide them with the necessary

Misk also signed a MoU with the Public Institution for Education and Global Leadership to promote joint cooperation and achieve the objectives of both sides, to support innovation initiatives that instill the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, as well as the establishment and organization of entrepreneurship approaches. 

Both parties agreed to focus on exploring potential collaborative opportunities related to the Entrepreneurship World Cup, and establish a competition with competitors coming from 170 countries.

Both parties also agreed to support international competitions aimed at identifying the best solutions in various fields and sectors, as well as exchanging programs on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The center has signed a MoU with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to discuss the possibility of providing training programs and courses for the center’s employees of the Fund and the relevant authorities. In addition to discussing available opportunities for cooperative training within the Fund, and providing opportunities for participation and contribution of the Fund’s staff in Misk’s programs.

The MoU aims to explore the benefits of existing agreements between the two parties with international financial and educational institutions, in order to find opportunities that provide programs, training and educational courses, and granting cooperative trainings for Saudi youth in those global institutions.

The center also signed a MoU with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), aiming to enhance joint cooperation on educational technology and its integration into the educational systems in the Islamic world.

An MoU with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will enhance the cooperation between the two parties in several initiatives, including academic development, training, entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

An MoU with Endeavor Saudi Arabia will support the Kingdom’s youth, enhance their talents and potential, stimulate economic growth, and find ways of cooperation between the two parties that serve their common interests.

The center’s MoU with the Ministry of Economy and Planning aims to spread awareness, provide new information on the education and training of human resources in the administrative and economic fields, youth empowerment, and coordinate efforts to raise their abilities.

The MoU aims to create cooperative training opportunities in local and international institutions with the purpose of workforce growth in the Kingdom’s economic sector, contributing to the development of national competencies in the economy, policies and procedures, strategic planning, in addition to providing job opportunities for graduates from areas that serve the interests of both parties and support the achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.