1.5 million people visit Makkah’s Grand Mosque during first ten days of Ramadan

1.5 million people visit Makkah’s Grand Mosque during first ten days of Ramadan
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Approximately 1.5 million worshippers and pilgrims visited the Grand Mosque in Makkah during the first ten days of Ramadan. (SPA)
1.5 million people visit Makkah’s Grand Mosque during first ten days of Ramadan
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The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has been handing out umbrellas to help beat the heat. (SPA)
1.5 million people visit Makkah’s Grand Mosque during first ten days of Ramadan
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The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has been handing out umbrellas to help beat the heat. (SPA)
1.5 million people visit Makkah’s Grand Mosque during first ten days of Ramadan
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The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has been handing out umbrellas to help beat the heat. (SPA)
1.5 million people visit Makkah’s Grand Mosque during first ten days of Ramadan
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The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has been handing out umbrellas to help beat the heat. (SPA)
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Updated 25 April 2021

1.5 million people visit Makkah’s Grand Mosque during first ten days of Ramadan

1.5 million people visit Makkah’s Grand Mosque during first ten days of Ramadan
  • Strict measures including social distancing and the wearing of face masks are being observed at the holy mosques
  • The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has been handing out umbrellas to visitors

RIYADH: Approximately 1.5 million worshippers and pilgrims visited the Grand Mosque in Makkah during the first ten days of Ramadan.
Strict measures including social distancing and the wearing of face masks are being observed to ensure that visitors to the Grand Mosque can worship in safety, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Measures to ensure the comfort of visitors include the area around the Kaaba being allocated to Umrah pilgrims and creating special paths for the elderly and those who have disabilities.
The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has also been handing out umbrellas to visitors of the holy mosques to help them beat the heat.
Temperatures in Makkah and Madinah this week are expected to reach highs of 38 degrees Celsius.


Saudi foreign minister meets with Pakistan prime minister Khan in Islamabad

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan received Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Islamabad on Tuesday. (SPA)
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan received Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Islamabad on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 34 sec ago

Saudi foreign minister meets with Pakistan prime minister Khan in Islamabad

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan received Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Islamabad on Tuesday. (SPA)
  • The visit is Prince Faisal’s second state visit to Pakistan in a year

RIYADH: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan received Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan at his office at the presidential residence in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, on Tuesday.

Prince Faisal conveyed the greetings of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the premier and the government and people of Pakistan, while Khan conveyed his greetings and appreciation to the king, the crown prince, and the government and people of Saudi Arabia.

At the beginning of the reception, the prime minister congratulated the Saudi leaders on the success of this year’s Hajj season, and that they were able to maintain an environment free from the spread of COVID-19 and other epidemic diseases’

Khan praised the precautionary measures taken by the Kingdom during the Hajj pilgrimage to preserve the health and safety of pilgrims.

During the meeting, they reviewed the historical and well-established relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them in all fields, through the Saudi-Pakistani Coordination Council, which aims to enhance effective partnership and intensify coordination on issues of common interest.

The two sides also held talks on the importance of exploring investment and available opportunities related to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, in order to achieve more prosperity for the two countries.

The prime minister lauded the important role of Pakistan’s community in Saudi Arabia in the progress and development of the two countries and underlined that the strong people-to-people linkages helped building solid foundations of cooperation.

Khan, noting the difficulties being faced by Pakistani nationals due to ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions, also underlined the importance of timely measures for facilitation of their return to Saudi Arabia when possible.

During his visit to the Pakistani capital, Prince Faisal also met with President Arif Alvi, who echoed the strong relations between his country and Saudi Arabia.

The visit is Prince Faisal’s second state visit to Pakistan in a year. He was last in Islamabad in December 2020.

The Pakistani foreign office said the Saudi foreign minister was visiting Pakistan on the invitation of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.


Saudi Arabia warns against travel to destinations on ban list amid COVID-19

Saudi Arabia warns against travel to destinations on ban list amid COVID-19
Updated 27 July 2021

Saudi Arabia warns against travel to destinations on ban list amid COVID-19

Saudi Arabia warns against travel to destinations on ban list amid COVID-19

DUBAI: The Saudi Arabian government has warned against travel to destinations on the Kingdom’s ban list amid COVID-19.

The Interior Ministry said citizens who have traveled to banned countries will be barred from traveling for three years, state news agency SPA reported.

Saudi citizens have been earlier prohibited from traveling to Indonesia over coronavirus disease concerns. Saudi citizens currently in the Asian nation have been told to exercise caution, and stay away from areas with high infection rates.

Saudi authorities have also banned travel, without prior permission, to and from the UAE, Ethiopia and Vietnam, over concerns about the spread of more-infectious variants of the coronavirus.

– More to follow –


Saudi FM arrives in Islamabad, discuses with Pakistani counterpart bilateral relations

Saudi FM arrives in Islamabad, discuses with Pakistani counterpart bilateral relations
Updated 27 July 2021

Saudi FM arrives in Islamabad, discuses with Pakistani counterpart bilateral relations

Saudi FM arrives in Islamabad, discuses with Pakistani counterpart bilateral relations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, arrived in Islamabad on an official visit that Pakistan said provided a ‘timely opportunity’ to deepen bilateral cooperation. 

This will be Prince Faisal’s second state visit to Pakistan in a year. He was last in Islamabad in December 2020.
The foreign office has said the Saudi foreign minister was visiting Pakistan on the invitation of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The visit by the Saudi FM “holds significance” in the backdrop of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Qureshi’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2021, the foreign office said on Twitter, adding:
“It will provide a timely opportunity to review progress in bilateral coop. in line with vision of the leadership of the two countries.”

“The visit of the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia will further strengthen the ongoing positive momentum in high-level contacts and deepen bilateral cooperation in various fields,” the foreign office said in a separate statement, saying Prince Faisal and the Pakistani foreign minister would meet at the Foreign Ministry shortly.
“After the meeting between the two Foreign Ministers, there will be delegation level talks between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. In addition to all aspects of bilateral relations, important regional and global issues will be discussed during the talks,” the foreign office said. “The Saudi Foreign Minister will also meet with senior government officials during his visit.”
Prior to the arrival of the Saudi foreign minister, senior delegation-level talks were held in Pakistan between officials of the two nations.
“Key focus was on Saudi-Pak Supreme Coordination Council, highest level platform to provide strategic direction to bilateral ties,” the foreign office said.

Related


US condemns latest Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, calls for Iran-backed group to return to negotiations

US condemns latest Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, calls for Iran-backed group to return to negotiations
Updated 27 July 2021

US condemns latest Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, calls for Iran-backed group to return to negotiations

US condemns latest Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, calls for Iran-backed group to return to negotiations
  • ‘We condemn the Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia following the calm over Eid Al-Adha’
  • ‘Time to return to negotiations and end the conflict’

DUBAI: The US has condemned the latest Houthi attack against Saudi Arabia as the Iran-backed group targeting the Kingdom’s southern region with a ballistic missile and three explosive-laden drones.

The US State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs also called for the Houthis to cease its military actions and commit to a ceasefire that would end the conflict in Yemen.

“We condemn the Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia following the calm over Eid Al-Adha. The Houthis must stop their destabilizing actions and commit to an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire to help end the Yemen war. Time to return to negotiations and end the conflict,” the US government agency posted on Twitter.

Tim Lenderking, the US special envoy for Yemen, earlier emphasized the importance of resolving the conflict in the war-torn country.

“The US is in this effort to help Yemen truly turn the corner toward peace and security. A ceasefire is only one step. We must continue to build from there,” the envoy said during one of the forums on Middle Eastern security.

Yemeni government troops and allied tribesmen, backed by Arab coalition jets, on Sunday repelled the “biggest and most fierce” Houthi assault of Marib since February.

More than 200 Houthi militants were killed in clashes during recent days or in Arab coalition strikes during recent days, a Yemeni army commander said.


Saudi online platforms bridge gap between creatives, inquisitive minds

 These two platforms helped local entrepreneurs to work in the creative sector to achieve their goals. This will ultimately contribute to the Kingdom’s goals for the private sector. (Supplied)
These two platforms helped local entrepreneurs to work in the creative sector to achieve their goals. This will ultimately contribute to the Kingdom’s goals for the private sector. (Supplied)
Updated 27 July 2021

Saudi online platforms bridge gap between creatives, inquisitive minds

 These two platforms helped local entrepreneurs to work in the creative sector to achieve their goals. This will ultimately contribute to the Kingdom’s goals for the private sector. (Supplied)
  • Offering people easy ways to learn new skills, explore methods to promote self, business

JEDDAH: Online platforms are helping smaller creative businesses to pass on their knowledge to interested parties. Two such platforms that have been attracting attention from Saudi locals are Suplift and Upgrade.

These online platforms began popping up on social media a few years ago with experiences and activities offered with a registration fee.
Fadi Yahya, the founder of Suplift, told Arab News that the question that inspired Suplift was “How can I ask people with skills to share them with other people who are interested in learning?”

I started noticing that people here didn’t have easy access to activities and workshops or a platform to access these activities.

Fadi Yahya, Founder of Suplift

“I started noticing that people here didn’t have easy access to activities and workshops or a platform to access these activities,” he said. “It was extremely hard for an average person to try any activity they like.”
This led to Yahya giving over a few years of his life to build a business from scratch that allowed profits to be given back to a talented person rather than an organization. “Our job was to make the structure simple.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Suplift extends across 18 cities in Saudi Arabia, with more than 1,000 experiences on offer. This has helped 10,000 people to make money simply by following their passion.

• Upgrade-sa.com’s targeted audience is people who want to learn new hobbies and explore different worlds, as well as business owners who want to build more connections and move toward expanding their work.

He said there were many challenges as the team was building a new market. “We are not running away or finding the easy way out. One thing we had trouble with was the lack of experience.”
Yahya said that to enable the experiences, the team had to find locations, work out the structure, marketing, customer service, technology, management, as well as ways of working with the government.
The aim of Suplift is to promote the idea of having hobbies. “The thing I am most proud of is that we help so many people make money. Many people say that passion can not help you make money, but I think it is needed in order to help the Saudi economy move further.”
Suplift extends across 18 cities in Saudi Arabia, with more than 1,000 experiences on offer. This has helped 10,000 people to make money simply by following their passion.
“Now that people understand that they can make money doing what they love, we will have more artists, golfers, divers, archers and so many more,” he said. “This makes me proud of my team and myself.”

When we started, we were the ones designing the workshops and we used to seek out the trainers — training and being creative are two different things.

Mohammad Mujahid, COO of Upgrade-sa.com

Mohammad Mujahid, COO of Upgrade-sa.com, told Arab News that their platform’s targeted audience is people who want to learn new hobbies and explore different worlds, as well as business owners who want to build more connections and move toward expanding their work.
The early days of the business were very challenging, Mujahid said. “When we started, we were the ones designing the workshops and we used to seek out the trainers — training and being creative are two different things. So now when the trainers or upgraders, as we call them, come to us, we provide them with guidelines so they can spread their knowledge.”
These two platforms helped local entrepreneurs to work in the creative sector to achieve their goals. This will ultimately contribute to the Kingdom’s goals for the private sector — supporting Saudi economic diversification objectives and building a prosperous future.