Mina, the City of Tents

Mina, the City of Tents
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Aerial view of Mina area ahead of the annual Haj pilgrimage, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia July 18, 2021. (Reuters)
Mina, the City of Tents
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Pilgrims walk in an alley of their camp in Mina, which sits in a narrow valley surrounded by rocky mountains near Makkah, and is transformed each year into a vast encampment for Hajj pilgrims, on July 18, 2021. (AFP)
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Muslim pilgrims arrive at their tent camp in Mina, near Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, July 18, 2021. (AP)
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A picture shows pilgrim tents in Mina, which sits in a narrow valley surrounded by rocky mountains near Makkah, and is transformed each year into a vast encampment for Hajj pilgrims, on July 18, 2021. (AFP)
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Pilgrims walk in an alley of their camp in Mina on July 18, 2021. (AFP)
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A Muslim pilgrim prays at his tent camp in Mina, near Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, July 18, 2021. (AP)
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Updated 19 July 2021

Mina, the City of Tents

Mina, the City of Tents

MINA: Mina’s Hajj tent development, known as the City of Tents, is one of the biggest projects executed by the Saudi government to serve pilgrims during the Hajj season to ensure their comfort and security, extending over 2.5 million square meters with a capacity of 2.6 million people.


Pilgrimages in the past used to suffer from regular tent fires in Mina, largely as a result of pilgrims not adhering to safety guidelines. Despite exhaustive efforts to counter this, over the years fires claimed many lives, injured hundreds and resulted in pilgrims losing their property.
These tragedies led to the development of flame retardant tents made of fiberglass tissues covered with Teflon, which are resistant to high heat and ignition, and which prevent the emission of toxic gases.


The tents are linked to each other via paved, illuminated and signposted corridors, and each group of tents is surrounded by metal fences for security, with main gates and emergency exits.
They provide communal areas, toilets and bathrooms, kitchens and electrical outlets, and are equipped with air-conditioning systems, are shaped in accordance with Islamic norms, and are made of flexible parts to ease storage and installation.


The tents are either 8 square meters in size, 6 by 8 meters or 12 by 8 meters, and fire extinguishers and hoses are distributed across the corridors at approximately one every 100 meters.
Water sprinklers, that operate automatically upon sensing heat, are installed in each tent to extinguish fires, and the moment water is emitted from one, an alarm rings to alert security staff to the danger.
Special water tanks have been installed in tunnels on top of the mountains near Mina, with a capacity of 200,000 cubic meters to be used to extinguish fires.


Najiz mobile app from Saudi Ministry of Justice reaches one million users in 2022

Najiz mobile app from Saudi Ministry of Justice reaches one million users in 2022
Updated 59 min 6 sec ago

Najiz mobile app from Saudi Ministry of Justice reaches one million users in 2022

Najiz mobile app from Saudi Ministry of Justice reaches one million users in 2022
  • The app was launched by the ministry to promote the pursuit of justice

RIYADH: Najiz e-services mobile app launched by the Saudi Ministry of Justice has reached one million users in 2022, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Najiz has expanded access to judicial services through handheld devices.

The app was launched by the ministry to help streamline digital services and promote the pursuit of justice.

Najiz app has added 21 new services, including a digital notary, downloading and verifying judgments, inquiring about enforcement applications, and booking appointments.

The most popular e-services provided by Najiz are inquiries about cases and real estate, booking appointments, verifying debt invoices, verifying marital status, and the digital notary, according to the ministry.

The app has a single sign-on feature that saves clients’ time and effort when obtaining services remotely.


Saudi, Italian space agencies sign MoU

Saudi, Italian space agencies sign MoU
Updated 27 June 2022

Saudi, Italian space agencies sign MoU

Saudi, Italian space agencies sign MoU
  • MoU signed on sidelines of joint Saud-Italian commission

ROME: The Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Saudi Space Commission (SSC) have signed a cooperation agreement on Monday in Riyadh during the visit of the Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the president of ASI, Giorgio Saccoccia, and by the CEO of the SSC, Mohammed Al-Tamimi, on the sidelines of the 12th Italian-Saudi Joint Commission chaired by Di Maio and the Saudi finance minister, Mohammed Al-Jadaan.

The agreement will foster collaboration between the two nations on projects of common interest in Earth observation, technology and communication in deep space, scientific missions and human exploration programs, as well as joint efforts in satellites and training.

“ASI and SSC agree to cooperate through the exchange of information and scientific data, the joint organization of seminars and workshops and the development of joint projects and research activities,” a spokesman for ASI told Arab News.

The Memorandum of Understanding has an initial duration of five years and may be subject to a further extension.


KAU, Nahdi partner to train future Saudi pharmacists

KAU, Nahdi partner to train future Saudi pharmacists
Updated 27 June 2022

KAU, Nahdi partner to train future Saudi pharmacists

KAU, Nahdi partner to train future Saudi pharmacists
  • Deal will advance education, training and research programs
  • More than 100 internship opportunities opened for students 

RIYADH: King Abdulaziz University and Nahdi Medical Company have partnered to train future Saudi pharmacists and further the role of youth in the economic development of the Kingdom.

A memorandum of understanding signing ceremony took place at the King Abdulaziz University with Prof. Hani Asfour, dean of the faculty of pharmacy at KAU, and Samer Bokharee, chief human resources officer at Nahdi.

Commenting on the partnership, Asfour said: “It is vital that as a community we acknowledge the integral role a pharmacist plays in providing therapeutic and advisory services to patients, especially amidst as challenging times as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Nahdi Medical Company, who are investing in preparing the nation’s young men and women for the labor market, creating job opportunities, and raising the level of Saudization of this vital sector in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030,” he added.

Commenting on the partnership, Bokharee said: “With mutual objectives, this cooperation aims to nurture young, ambitious Saudi pharmaceutical students at KAU and provide them an opportunity to develop their proficiencies through our training and recruitment programs.

“We believe every pharmacist plays a pivotal role in our industry, given that pharmacies are the first touch point for most guests. We are equipping future pharmacists with the right set of skills and knowledge in our continuous pursuit to add beats to the lives of our guests. Nahdi remains committed to delivering intensive training workshops to students and has employed more than 600 Saudi students across the Kingdom,” he added.

Bokharee said that the excellence program offered by Nahdi will provide future pharmacists with real-life career experiences and intensive training sessions at community pharmacies under the supervision of certified trainers.

Applicants will have the chance to apply for full-time career opportunities at Nahdi once their training courses are completed.

Postgraduates and academics from the college of pharmacy at KAU will be granted access to data from more than 1,100 pharmacies across the Kingdom, as well as real-time interaction with more than 5 million guests per year.

Nahdi Medical Company is the largest retail pharmacy chain in Saudi Arabia and boasts a growing healthcare services platform. The company has partnered with more than 15 private and public universities across the Kingdom since 2008 in efforts directed toward training and research.

The strategic deal between KAU and Nahdi underscores the spirit of industry-academic collaboration and the role of Saudi youth in the economic development of the Kingdom.


Sky’s limit for Jeddah Season balloon-flight visitors

Sky’s limit for Jeddah Season balloon-flight visitors
Updated 27 June 2022

Sky’s limit for Jeddah Season balloon-flight visitors

Sky’s limit for Jeddah Season balloon-flight visitors

JEDDAH: The sky’s the limit for visitors to the Jeddah Season of activities where tethered balloon trips are offering them a bird’s-eye view of the city.

Up to 29 passengers can take to the air with an Aerophile-certified pilot for rides lasting around 10 minutes in the 150-meter-high balloon located in City Walk, one of the festival zones.

The helium balloon, which is 22.46 meters in diameter, is anchored to the ground by ropes. Flights are dependent on weather conditions.


First Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Jeddah through Makkah Route Initiative

First Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Jeddah through Makkah Route Initiative
A Moroccan pilgrim breezes through the immigration line at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, thanks to the Mak
Updated 27 June 2022

First Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Jeddah through Makkah Route Initiative

First Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Jeddah through Makkah Route Initiative
  • Morocco is the fifth country to participate in the Makkah Route Initiative, after Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh

JEDDAH: King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah received its first Moroccan pilgrims through the Makkah Route Initiative.

They departed from the Makkah Route hall at Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca and were greeted by Moroccan Consul General Ibrahim Ajouli, Col. Suleiman Mohammed Al-Yusuf, and representatives from the initiative at KAIA.

The Makkah Route Initiative was launched for the first time this year in Morocco, adding to the four countries already participating in the project: Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

A Moroccan pilgrim gets gets "processed" without hassle at the immigration desk of the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. (SPA)

It aims to simplify procedures for pilgrims by issuing e-visas, completing passport procedures at the airport of the country of departure following the completion of health requirements, and dealing with luggage procedures, transport, and accommodation.

Upon arrival, pilgrims directly move to buses transporting them to their accommodation in Makkah and Madinah while authorities deliver their luggage to their lodgings.

Serving pilgrims is one of the Interior Ministry's programs contributing toward Vision 2030.

The initiative was first launched in 2019 in a few airports and expanded this year, saving pilgrims up to 12 hours upon arrival at Saudi airports.

Decoder

Makkah Route Initiative

Inaugurated by King Salman in 2019, the Makkah Route Initiative is a program that seeks to provide visitors to the holy sites in Saudi Arabia with the finest possible services to help them perform their Hajj rituals easily and comfortably. Five countries are currently participating in the initiative: Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Morocco, and Bangladesh.