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

  • 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.


Saudi, Brazil UN envoys seek to strengthen ties

Updated 07 August 2020

Saudi, Brazil UN envoys seek to strengthen ties

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, held talks through a video conference with Ronaldo Costa Filho, Brazil’s UN representative.
The meeting reviewed the bilateral relationships and cooperation between the two countries, as well as issues of common interest, global political developments and cooperation between their UN delegations.
Filho praised the Kingdom’s efforts in fighting terrorism and its cooperation with the international community, as well as the efforts of Al-Mouallimi in leading the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) advisory board.
Al-Mouallimi praised the support provided by Brazil to UNOCT and its cooperation with the international community.
The meeting also discussed Saudi-Brazilian cooperation within the G20, presided by Saudi Arabia in 2020. Filho commended the Kingdom for leading the group amid the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.