Hajj minister hails royal decree on Saudi visas

Muslim pilgrims pray around the holy Kaaba at the Grand Mosque ahead of the annual haj pilgrimage in Makkah Sept. 22, 2015. (Reuters)
Updated 11 September 2019

Hajj minister hails royal decree on Saudi visas

  • The decree canceled repeat Umrah fees
  • The royal decree aims to facilitate the arrival of Muslims to perform Hajj and Umrah

JEDDAH: The Saudi minister for Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Mohammad Salih Bentin, thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for issuing a royal decree canceling repeat Umrah fees.

Bentin said: “The royal decree is part of the leadership’s keenness to facilitate the arrival of Muslims from all over the world to perform Hajj and Umrah.”

He added that the decree reflects the Kingdom’s readiness to receive the increasing number of pilgrims due to huge infrastructure projects and the development of services in Makkah, Madinah and the holy places.

Bentin said the decree supports efforts to achieve one of the most important objectives of the Vision 2030 reform plan, which is to receive 30 million Umrah pilgrims by that year, and to provide them with great services so they can perform their rituals in comfort and tranquility.


Deal signed for new US Embassy in Riyadh

Updated 24 min 8 sec ago

Deal signed for new US Embassy in Riyadh

  • The agreement was signed during the US Consulate’s celebration of the 243rd year of American independence at its new location in Jeddah’s Al-Muhammadiya district
  • Members of the American community, Saudi government officials and business leaders were in attendance

JEDDAH: The US Consulate in Jeddah signed an agreement to purchase land for the US Embassy’s new compound in Riyadh.

The agreement was signed during the consulate’s celebration of the 243rd year of American independence at its new location in Jeddah’s Al-Muhammadiya district.

It was signed by US Ambassador John Abizaid and Dr. Fahad Mushayt, CEO of the Diplomatic Quarter General Authority.

The agreement will allow the US State Department to divert resources toward construction and design of the new embassy.

Hosted by Abizaid and Consul General Ryan Gliha, the celebration’s guest of honor was Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed bin Abdul Aziz.

Members of the American community, Saudi government officials and business leaders were in attendance.

Since 1945, the US and Saudi Arabia “have stood together in the face of common threats, advanced prosperity and economic growth in both our countries, and forged bonds of friendship through countless exchanges and joint endeavors,” Abizaid said.