Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

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Muslim pilgrims leave after offering noon prayers outside the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (AP)
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Saudi King Salman confers the King Abdul Aziz Medal on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Riyadh on April 3, 2016. (SPA)
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Updated 26 January 2020

Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

  • Presence of 2.6 million Indian expats in Saudi Arabia boosts bilateral ties

On the occasion of India’s 71st Republic Day, I extend my best wishes to my fellow Indian citizens in the western region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations which reflect centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties.
Visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016 and in October 2019 plus the exchanges of other high-level visits have further strengthened the warm relations between the two countries.
As our prime minister said during his visit in October 2019, India would work hand-in-hand with Saudi Arabia on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan.  
The presence of over 2.6 million Indian expatriates in the Kingdom has also contributed immensely to the strength of economic and socio-cultural ties between our two nations.
Bilateral trade delegations have also increased in the last few years. Indian business delegations are now a regular feature of trade exhibitions in Jeddah and other parts of the Kingdom. The Indian Consulate in Jeddah works tirelessly and diligently to provide the best possible service to Indian nationals residing in the western region of the Kingdom.
This good service includes reducing to three working days the length of time required for issuing/reissuing passports.
The introduction of an e-visa facility for Saudi nationals has further streamlined visa processing and provides a smooth first step for those wanting to visit India.
The Indian government and the people of India are grateful to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Hajj Minister Dr. Mohammed Benten for making excellent arrangements during Hajj 2019. In that year, 200,000 Indian nationals performed Hajj and more than 650,000 Indians came for Umrah.
The Indian side remains committed to partnering closely with Saudi Arabia and working toward a very successful Hajj 2020.
We sincerely express our gratitude to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi ministries of foreign affairs, labor, interior and the authorities of Jawazat, Tarheel and other concerned agencies who have always provided exemplary assistance to the consulate which has enabled the comfortable stay of the many Indians visiting, living, and working in the Kingdom.

• Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh is India’s consul general in Jeddah. 


Delivery app reps cleared to operate in Saudi Arabia at all hours

Updated 10 April 2020

Delivery app reps cleared to operate in Saudi Arabia at all hours

JEDDAH: Delivery app workers in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to operate around the clock during curfew periods, the Ministry of Interior has announced.

The 24-hour ruling will apply to all delivery representatives affiliated to apps registered with the Communications and Information Technology Commission and carrying valid electronic business IDs, an official ministerial source told the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The statement follows an announcement on Wednesday permitting restaurant services (except for food trucks, party caterers and banquet kitchens) to send out food until 10 p.m. throughout the Kingdom via their own delivery fleets, as long as they adhered to government health and safety requirements.

Meanwhile, anyone wishing to report curfew violations can do so through the Absher platform.