Hajj authorities ready to receive pilgrims on Arafat

The ministry has also prepared an integrated camp in the Arafat area to isolate suspected cases of coronavirus and to apply preventive measures. (AFP)
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Updated 30 July 2020

Hajj authorities ready to receive pilgrims on Arafat

  • The ministry announced that no coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases were reported among pilgrims

JEDDAH: The Saudi Health Ministry has completed its preparations to provide medical care for pilgrims who will gather on the plains of Mount Arafat to perform the pinnacle of the Hajj pilgrimage on Thursday, the ninth day of Dul-Hijjah.

Health facilities in Arafat have been equipped with general clinics staffed by family doctors, internal consultants and nurses specialized in intensive care, as well as facilities equipped to deal with sunstroke and heat stress.

There will also be a mobile hospital in Arafat and mobile clinics in Muzdalifah throughout the Day of Arafat to serve the pilgrims until their departure.

The ministry has also prepared an integrated camp in the Arafat area to isolate suspected cases of coronavirus and to apply preventive measures.

The Civil Defense forces have increased their readiness in Mina and have taken all measures to preserve pilgrims’ safety throughout their stay.

The commander of the Civil Defense for Hajj, Maj. Gen. Hamoud Al-Faraj, confirmed the readiness of his teams. “All parties involved are carrying out their tasks to handle any risks according to the general plan for the Hajj pilgrimage,” he said.

On the Day of Tarwiyah, the ministry announced that no coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases were reported among pilgrims.

With the Saudi authorities limiting the number pilgrims to 1,000 to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of those privileged to be able to perform Hajj this year was a Macedonian woman who has been living in Riyadh for six years.

Hamide Halimi told Arab News: “I’ve been dreaming of Hajj ever since I came here and it’s finally happening.”

“In my group, we’re 20-something women and throughout this experience, I’ve been with women only. From the hotel to Miqat and to the Haram, we’re all women. Even the women that came with their husbands, they had to keep with the women. So it’s an amazing sisterhood experience,” she said

Halimi is very happy to see that the authorities have organized to keep the women closest to the Kaaba today for Tawaf (circumambulation) and they have made it easy for them all day.

During her previous visits to perform Umrah, she circumambulated the Kaaba from very far away and once, due to the size of the crowd, she had to perform the ritual from the Grand Mosque’s roof.

Halimi could not believe how close she was to the Kaaba while performing her arrival Tawaf. “It was a surreal moment that I could never have imagined happening.”

She said: “Last year, on the Day of Arafat, I asked for a Hajj where I didn’t burden anyone. And so it happened. How will it all work? Everyone who performs Hajj has to make some arrangements but it’s just been such smooth sailing, I’m lost for words.”

She explained about the tracking bracelets they were given: “When we went to medical centers, we had a regular health check-up and then at the end we were also tested in case we have coronavirus. We were given a bracelet which works with an app that you install on your phone and it tracks each day your isolation,” Halimi added.

She said that all pilgrims are adhering to social distancing rules and guidelines. “Each group consists of between 20-30 pilgrims.”

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry recorded 1,759 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the number in the Kingdom to 272,590. There were 41,205 active cases that are still receiving medical care, while 2,063 are in a critical condition.

Another 2,945 patients have recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 228,569.

Saudi Arabia announced 27 new COVID-19-related deaths. The death toll now stands at 2,816.

 

 
 


Guinness World Records has great expectations for Saudi titles milestone

Updated 25 September 2020

Guinness World Records has great expectations for Saudi titles milestone

  • In MENA region, KSA is second behind UAE for its record-breaking prowess, with 93 GWR titles

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s penchant for breaking world records looks set to see the Kingdom smash through the 100 titles mark in the not-too-distant future, officials have predicted.
Guinness World Records (GWR), which lists incredible human achievements and extremes of nature, has great expectations for the country over the coming months.
The Kingdom has been placed second behind the UAE in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for its record-breaking prowess, with 93 GWR titles under its belt.
GWR’s senior marketing manager in the MENA region, Shaddy Gaad, told Arab News: “We’re very impressed with Saudi record-breaking and we’re really excited — a lot of record-breaking happens on the National Day.
“Over the last few years and with the Saudi Seasons (activity festivals) we’ve seen a big rise in record-breaking in Saudi Arabia and we’re looking forward to seeing this continue.
“Saudi Arabia is on the up and it’s rising very quickly. There were a lot of records broken near the end of last year. We had Riyadh Season and we had AlUla. I think that number’s going to rise up very quickly,” he said.

Largest hot air balloon glow show: The largest hot air balloon glow show consisted of 100 hot air balloons and was achieved by the Royal Commission for AlUla on Jan. 6, 2019.

Gaad added that so far this year there had been a 15 percent increase in the number of new records set by MENA nations.
“This year we received 750 applications from the MENA region, compared to 649 in the first eight months of 2019. From Saudi Arabia, we received 79 applications and we expect it to go up to 100 by the end of the year,” he said.
One of the most notable titles achieved by Saudi Arabia was for the largest mirror building, the Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla. “If you see that building itself, it’s absolutely beautiful. It looks like something out of a movie,” added Gaad.
Jeddah can boast the world’s largest burger restaurant, with I’m Hungry covering 2,860 square meters, the equivalent of 11 tennis courts according to its marketing team.
The Red Sea port city also has the world’s tallest unsupported flagpole, while AlUla plays host to the largest hot air balloon glow show, and Saudi influencer Hussain Sallam (known as S7S) holds the record for the largest serving of sayadieh (1,334 kilograms of the seasoned fish and rice dish).

Largest human awareness ribbon: The largest human awareness ribbon consisted of 8,264 participants and was achieved by Saudi women at an event organized by 10KSA in Riyadh on Dec. 12, 2015.

Stunt driver Terry Grant completed the largest loop-the-loop in a car during Riyadh Season on Nov. 25, and the MDL Beast Festival in the Saudi capital on Dec. 21 won the tallest stage title.
However, similar to most organizations, WGR has had to adapt to working around safety restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We moved a lot of things online. To view the growth in the number of applications, we launched this online record-breaking; what happened is it’s a dedicated brand and content division, focused on helping brands and businesses break records as part of their marketing campaign, and all of it is done over the internet.
“It wasn’t difficult; record-breaking and evidence provision is generally done online. It wasn’t difficult for us; the only thing was that people just had to get used to it, but it was a seamless process,” said Gaad.

Largest burger restaurant: The largest burger restaurant covers an area of 2,860 square meters and the title was achieved by I’m Hungry in Jeddah on Dec. 12, 2019.

The new division runs over content such as live-streaming, online pledges, online albums, video relays, and video chains.
One of them happened in Saudi Arabia, with the most viewers for an Iftar YouTube live stream, when 183,544 people tuned in to enjoy popular YouTubers such as “The Saudi Reporters” and comedian Omar Hussein.
“These influencers got together on YouTube, live, and for an hour they were sharing their stories about Ramadan traditions and Saudi traditions. They broke their fast and shared this moment with their fans. That video ended up trending as No. 1 in Saudi and the region.
“If anything, this pandemic has taught us to adapt to situations. I think people are now more flexible with the idea of doing online records as much as they’re doing offline records,” Gaad added.
He pointed out that the online application process for the GWR was simple and that titles were granted based on whether the record was measurable (longest, largest, heaviest, etc.), breakable, standardizable, or verifiable, and if it was made up of one variable.

SOME OF THE RECORDS BROKEN IN SAUDI ARABIA

• Tallest flagpole: The tallest unsupported flagpole measures 171 meters (561 feet) and was erected by Jeddah Municipality and Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI) in Jeddah on Sept. 23, 2014.

• Largest drinking water storage facility: The largest drinking water storage facility is the Briman Strategic Water Reservoir, in Jeddah, with a total capacity of 2,062,500 cubic meters, verified on Nov. 17, 2014. Fun fact: The volume of this facility could fill up six skyscrapers the size of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

• Largest burger restaurant: The largest burger restaurant covers an area of 2,860 square meters and the title was achieved by I’m Hungry in Jeddah on Dec. 12, 2019.

• Largest hot air balloon glow show: The largest hot air balloon glow show consisted of 100 hot air balloons and was achieved by the Royal Commission for AlUla on Jan. 6, 2019.

• The Largest Serving of sayadieh: The largest serving of sayadieh was 1,334 kg achieved by Hussain Sallam in Jeddah on Sept. 14, 2019.

• Darkest man-made substance: The darkest man-made substance is a black material made of gold nanoparticles and called dark chameleon dimers, which absorbs more than 99 percent of visible light over the whole visible range. The material was made by scientists from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), in a joint collaboration between Prof. Yu Han and Prof. Andrea Fratalocchi.

• Largest water desalination company: The largest water desalination company is Saline Water Conversion Corp. (Saudi Arabia) which produces 4,600,000 cubic meters a day as verified on June 4, 2016. •Largest Tele-ICU command center: The largest Tele-ICU command center consisted of 796 beds and was achieved by Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Group in Riyadh and verified on July 31, 2019.

• Tallest stage (temporary): The tallest stage (temporary) measured 38 meters in height and was achieved by MDL Beast Fest in Riyadh on Dec. 21, 2019.

• Most consecutive wins in AFC champions league: The most consecutive wins of the AFC champions league are two achieved by Al Ittihad FC (Saudi Arabia) in 2004-2005.

• Largest human awareness ribbon: The largest human awareness ribbon consisted of 8,264 participants and was achieved by Saudi women at an event organized by 10KSA in Riyadh on Dec. 12, 2015.