King Salman compensates Malaysian victims of Makkah crane collapse

Saudi Ambassador to Malaysia Mahmoud Hussein Saeed Qattan delivered the compensation payments at the Putrajaya Islamic Complex. (Photo/Supplied)
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Updated 16 January 2020

King Salman compensates Malaysian victims of Makkah crane collapse

  • The 2015 crane disaster killed 111 pilgrims

KUALA LUMPUR: Saudi Arabia has compensated the families of Malaysian pilgrims who were killed or injured while performing Hajj in 2015 when a crane crashed into the Grand Mosque in Makkah, killing a total of 111 pilgrims of various nationalities and injuring hundreds of others.

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Malaysia Mahmoud Hussein Saeed Qattan delivered the compensation payments to the Putrajaya Islamic Complex on Tuesday. Each family of the seven Malaysians who lost their lives in the accident received SR1 million ($267,000), while each of the three pilgrims injured was compensated with SR500,000 ($133,000). The compensation was paid personally by King Salman.

Malaysian Religious Affairs Minister Mujahid Rawa and representatives from Tabung Haji — the Malaysian Hajj pilgrims fund board were present at Putrajaya when Qattan delivered the payments. Rawa expressed his gratitude to King Salman for “the empathy and attention given to Malaysian pilgrims,” adding, “we are thankful for his kindness and generosity.”

The families also received an additional $5,000 from Tabung Haji and $5,000 from a takaful protection scheme.


Jeddah travel and tourism exhibition witnesses increase in diversity and activity

Updated 27 February 2020

Jeddah travel and tourism exhibition witnesses increase in diversity and activity

  • Organizer Bandar Khalid: Indonesia made a strong entrance to this exhibition this year, many of the travel booths here are from Indonesia
  • Bandar Khalid: The introduction of the travel visa has made it easier for everyone to attend this exhibition

JEDDAH: The 10th edition of the Jeddah International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (JTTX) began on Wednesday in Jeddah. Organizers said that the “increase in the diversity of nationalities attending the event” shows how interest in tourism to and from the Kingdom is increasing. 

Organizer Bandar Khalid, who studies travel, tourism and hospitality management at Jeddah College of Technology, said that what makes this year’s exhibition different is the number of new travel agencies participating. 

“Indonesia made a strong entrance to this exhibition this year, many of the travel booths here are from Indonesia; they are working very hard. It’s a strong year for them and I hope they reach their goal.

“Visitors from different nationalities came to the exhibition, from Turkey, Russia, the Philippines, the US, India, even South Korea,” he added. “It is very different from last year, when there were very few different nationalities. The introduction of the travel visa has made it easier for everyone to attend this exhibition.”

The Kingdom’s recently relaxed visa rules will help to eliminate negative stereotypes about Saudi Arabia, he claimed. “Finally, people from outside the Kingdom can come visit and explore, learn about the culture and what makes it special. They will see that we are human just like them and hopefully tackle the misconception that we are terrorists, and stop making racist comments. They can see for themselves that it is the opposite of what they had in mind. They will see that we are modern and advanced.”

Ryan Van Der Merwe, senior visa consultant at One Visa World, told Arab News that tourism between South Africa and the Kingdom has increased since the implementation of the Saudi tourist visa.

“I think us being here at this event showcases all of the advantages of coming here and the good relationship between the two countries, and should help increase business and open up (new) opportunities,” he added.