Temporary ban on Umrah pilgrims, some tourists on Saudi-bound Emirates flights

Temporary ban on Umrah pilgrims, some tourists on Saudi-bound Emirates flights
The ban follows an earlier directive from the Saudi government. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 February 2020

Temporary ban on Umrah pilgrims, some tourists on Saudi-bound Emirates flights

Temporary ban on Umrah pilgrims, some tourists on Saudi-bound Emirates flights
  • Umrah visa holders and those coming from nearly two dozen countries will not be allowed entry to the Kingdom
  • Nearly 7 million Umrah pilgrims visit the Kingdom each year

DUBAI: Dubai’s Emirates announced Thursday a temporary ban on carrying Umrah pilgrims and tourists from nearly two dozen countries to Saudi Arabia.

The announcement came after the Kingdom placed a temporary ban on pilgrims from entering the country to perform Umrah, in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Middle East countries have been implementing measures to protect their citizens and residents from the rising coronavirus cases.

The airline said these customers with tickets to Saudi Arabia as their final destination “will not be accepted for boarding at their point of origin until further notice.”

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The countries in the tourism visa restriction are: Hong Kong, Macau, China, Iran, Italy, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Singapore, India, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Somalia, and Vietnam.

The announcement also reiterated that Gulf travelers to and from the Kingdom are required to use their passports, instead of national identity cards.

Nearly 7 million Umrah pilgrims visit the Kingdom each year, the majority of whom arrive at airports in Jeddah and Madinah.

The ban will remain under constant review by health authorities, according to Saudi officials.


Visit to Uzbekistan by high-level Saudi delegation starts

Visit to Uzbekistan by high-level Saudi delegation starts
Updated 23 January 2021

Visit to Uzbekistan by high-level Saudi delegation starts

Visit to Uzbekistan by high-level Saudi delegation starts
  • Aim is to enhance bilateral relations
  • A number of joint projects will be launched during the trip

RIYADH: A high-level Saudi delegation begin an official visit to Uzbekistan on Saturday, with the aim of strengthening bilateral relations, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday.
The delegation, led by Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih, will include officials from a large number of government agencies, in addition to representatives from the private sector and senior Saudi businessmen.
The agenda for the visit includes the unveiling of a number of joint projects, the signing of a memorandum of understanding, and the launch of renewable-energy projects led by Saudi companies, as well as meetings between officials and businessmen from both countries.
Uzbekistan’s “business environment is witnessing an increase in investment opportunities in the fields of energy, food industries, building materials, mining, electronics, information technology, agriculture and others,” according to the SPA report.