Saudi Arabia receives first foreign pilgrims in 7 months 

Saudi Arabia receives first foreign pilgrims in 7 months 
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Mohammed Saleh Benten (2nd-L), Minister of Hajj and Umrah, welcomes Pakistani travellers arriving in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on Sunday. (AFP)
Saudi Arabia receives first foreign pilgrims in 7 months 
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A Pakistani traveller arrives in Saudi Arabia to perform the Umrah pilgrimage and is welcomed at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on November 1, 2020. (AFP)
Saudi Arabia receives first foreign pilgrims in 7 months 
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Pakistani travellers arriving in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah walk with their luggage at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on November 1, 2020. (AFP)
Saudi Arabia receives first foreign pilgrims in 7 months 
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A mask-clad Pakistani traveller arriving in Saudi Arabia to perform the Umrah pilgrimage, is welcomed at King Abdulaziz International Airport in the city of Jeddah on November 1, 2020. (AFP)
Saudi Arabia receives first foreign pilgrims in 7 months 
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Pakistani Umrah pilgrims arrive at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on November 1, 2020. (SPA)
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Updated 02 November 2020

Saudi Arabia receives first foreign pilgrims in 7 months 

Saudi Arabia receives first foreign pilgrims in 7 months 
  • Flights carrying Pakistani and Indonesian pilgrims arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah
  • Strict preventative measures are being taken to ensure the safety of all pilgrims

JEDDAH: More than 250 pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia on their way to Makkah to perform Umrah for the first time in seven months.

King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah received the first flights of international pilgrims on Sunday from Pakistan and Indonesia. The first flight, from Pakistan, arrived at 4 p.m. carrying 38 pilgrims, while the second flight, from Indonesia, arrived at 6 p.m. with 224 pilgrims.
Pilgrims were received by the Minister of Hajj and Umrah Muhammad Saleh Benten and his deputy, Abdel Fattah Mashat, as well as the airport director, Issam Nour.

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Issam Al-Thaqafi met Indonesian pilgrims at Jakarta International Airport, bidding them a safe trip and assuring them that their well-being was the priority of the Kingdom’s leadership.
Pilgrims were tested before arriving in the Kingdom. “It’s a slow and well-considered stage in which we are taking all health measures before the pilgrims arrival from their country, and throughout their Umrah journey in the Kingdom,” the deputy Hajj minister told the Al-Ekhbariya satellite TV channel.

“Everyone has been ready to receive pilgrims since the flight first arrived,” he said. “We are monitoring and revising everything on a daily basis.”
The ministry has set standards and controls for all service providers and Umrah companies to ensure the application of the highest levels of precautionary and preventive measures approved by the Ministry of Health.

HIGHLIGHT

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah called on pilgrims, visitors and worshippers from inside and outside of the Kingdom to adhere to precautionary and measures such as wearing a mask, keeping hands sanitized and maintaining social distancing.

Pilgrims can stay in the Kingdom for up to 10 days. They will undergo health checkups on arrival before being distributed among Hajj and Umrah companies, where each group should include no more than 50 people.
They will then be transported by buses to their hotels, where they will spend three days in isolation before they are assessed and permitted by the Health Ministry to perform Umrah.  
This came on the first day of the third stage of the resumption of Umrah, during which the Kingdom is preparing to receive 10,000 international pilgrims daily with the holy mosques working at 100 percent capacity. The maximum age limit for international pilgrims is 50.

Saudi Arabia will receive pilgrims from countries where the pandemic situation is stable. Countries are subject to continuous evaluation by the Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Weqaya) according to special protocols.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah called on pilgrims, visitors and worshipers from inside and outside of the Kingdom to adhere to precautionary and measures such as wearing a mask, keeping hands sanitized and maintaining social distancing.


DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan discuss strengthening ties

DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan discuss strengthening ties
Updated 25 February 2021

DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan discuss strengthening ties

DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan discuss strengthening ties

RIYADH: Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Shahin Abdullayev recently held a meeting with the joint Saudi-Azerbaijani Parliamentary Friendship Committee of the Shoura Council in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The meeting was held under the co-chairmanship of Dr. Faiz Al-Shehri, member of the Shoura Council and head of the committee, and examined various ways to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in various fields, especially at the level of parliamentary relations between the Shoura Council and the Azerbaijani parliament.
Abdullayev wished the council success in its new session and expressed his appreciation for the Kingdom’s policies to enhance security, peace and stability in the Gulf region and beyond.
Al-Shehri ran through the Shoura Council’s organizational structure, and highlighted the importance of the diplomatic role played by parliamentary friendship committees.
Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan celebrated the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in February 2017.
The then-Azeri Ambassador in Riyadh Rasim Rzayev said at the time: “Azerbaijan and the Kingdom, two brotherly Muslim countries, have unique commonalities of a historical, religious and political nature.”
 


Eastern Province governor receives Netherlands ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Eastern Province governor receives Netherlands ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Updated 25 February 2021

Eastern Province governor receives Netherlands ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Eastern Province governor receives Netherlands ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif met Janet Alberda, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Saudi Arabia, in Dammam on Wednesday.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and issues of common interest, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Alberda highlighted the development that the Eastern Province has been witnessing, and wished further progress and prosperity for the Kingdom.
The meeting was attended by the Saudi Honorary Consul to the Kingdom of the Netherlands Sulaiman Al-Suhaimi.
Also on Wednesday, Prince Saud received the regional director of Al Arabiya channel, Mohammed Al-Hekmi, accompanied by a number of employees.
Prince Saud praised the role of the media in highlighting the societal and development accomplishments of the Kingdom in general and the Eastern Province in particular.
The media played an influential role and was an important means of communication, he said.
Earlier, Prince Saud met the US consul general in Dhahran, Nicholle Manz-Baazaoui. Issues of common interest and ways to promote relationships between the two countries were discussed.
Prince Saud stressed the solid ties between the two countries and their common vision on various topics.
He also highlighted the two countries’ joint work toward achieving security and peace in the region and the world, as well as their economic and cultural cooperation.
 


Who’s Who: Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO of Riyad Bank

Who’s Who: Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO of Riyad Bank
Updated 25 February 2021

Who’s Who: Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO of Riyad Bank

Who’s Who: Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO of Riyad Bank

Tareq Al-Sadhan has been president and CEO of Riyad Bank since April 2019. Before that, he served as the bank’s senior executive vice president from January 2018 to March 2019.
Al-Sadhan worked with KPMG Saudi Arabia, where he spent 18 years rising through the ranks to become one of the youngest partners in the firm’s history.
He was CEO/managing partner and chairman of the advisory committee during his last five years at the company.
Before his current position, Al-Sadhan worked in the Kingdom’s public sector in roles such as adviser to the chairman in the Saudi Fund for Development, acting director general at the General Authority for Zakat and Tax, and deputy governor for supervision at the Saudi Central Bank.
Al-Sadhan holds a bachelor’s degree in administration science from King Saud University, majoring in accounting (1997), and a master’s degree in business management from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees, France (2007).
He gained a diploma in international business from the University of Edinburgh in 2006, and a diploma in leadership development and strategy from INSEAD in 2010.
Al-Sadhan is a member of the 2020 World Economic Forum’s Stewardship Board for the Middle East and North Africa, and a fellow of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants.
He has been an audit committee member at the Public Investment Fund since March 2019, and an advisory board member at Mastercard since March 2018.


Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses defense relations with UK

Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses defense relations with UK
Updated 25 February 2021

Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses defense relations with UK

Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses defense relations with UK
  • Prince Khalid bin Salman held a phone call with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace

RIYADH: Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman held a phone call with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to discuss defense relations between both countries. 

“Had a good call with the United Kingdom Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to discuss defense relations between our two friendly countries, and our common interests in achieving regional and international stability,” Prince Khalid tweeted Wednesday.

In an interview last year with Al Arabiya, Wallace said the UK’s relations with Saudi Arabia are not restricted to selling weapons, but a strong defense partnership.


KSrelief launches medical campaign in Djibouti

KSrelief launches medical campaign in Djibouti
Updated 25 February 2021

KSrelief launches medical campaign in Djibouti

KSrelief launches medical campaign in Djibouti

DJIBOUTI: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has launched a voluntary medical campaign for specialized surgeries in Djibouti.

The center’s medical team has to date performed 41 urinary tract operations on children in the east African country and provided the necessary treatment for 60 other cases.

The health initiative is part of Saudi Arabia’s relief and humanitarian efforts, through the center, to help crisis-hit countries and the suffering of people around the world.