Experts discuss digital overhaul in Hajj, Umrah system

Special Experts discuss digital overhaul in Hajj, Umrah system
The 21st Scientific Forum for Hajj, Umrah, Visit Research opened with a documentary highlighting the priority Saudi Arabia places on facilitating Hajj and Umrah pilgrims. (SPA)
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Updated 10 March 2022

Experts discuss digital overhaul in Hajj, Umrah system

Experts discuss digital overhaul in Hajj, Umrah system
  • Prince Faisal affirmed the pride of Saudi Arabia, its leadership and people in serving the pilgrims of the Two Holy Mosques
  • About 30 speakers will discuss the application and governance of digital transformation in the Hajj and Umrah system

JEDDAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman on Wednesday inaugurated the 21st Scientific Forum for Hajj, Umrah, Visit Research at the King Salman International Convention Center.

Held under the patronage of King Salman, the three-day forum — titled “Digital Transformation in the Hajj, Umrah and Visit System” — is being organized by Umm Al-Qura University, represented by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj and Umrah Research.

The inauguration was attended by academic researchers with an interest in Hajj, Umrah and visit studies, experts in digital transformation, and representatives from the public and private sectors, financial and educational institutions and youth leaders.

In his speech, Prince Faisal affirmed the pride of Saudi Arabia, its leadership and people in serving the pilgrims of the Two Holy Mosques.

“Since its unification, this blessed country has been exploiting all its efforts and capabilities in the service of the Guests of Allah, and this is reflected in the generous support of King Salman to this forum,” he said.

Prince Faisal added that this patronage demonstrates the priority the leadership gives to pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors to the holy places.

The governor said that the technical progress Saudi Arabia achieved before, during and after the pandemic has made it one of the best countries to adapt and employ technology in all fields.

Turki Al-Amr, dean of the institute, said that the forum will showcase the latest developments in digital transformation in the field, and provide a platform for sharing ideas and knowledge.

About 30 speakers will discuss the application and governance of digital transformation in the Hajj and Umrah system. Workshops and an exhibition are also being held on the sidelines of the forum. 

The forum will explore three main issues — governance of digital transformation in the Hajj and Umrah system, applying digital transformation to improve the services provided to pilgrims and visitors to the two holy cities, and developing the processes of decision-making and provided services.

In the first session, headed by Amer bin Awad Al-Zaidi, UQU’s vice president for educational affairs, speakers highlighted legislation and regulations to encourage digital transformation.

They also shed light on governance of data sharing, privacy and data security, as well as digital transformation risks and opportunities, and the role of digital transformation in the sustainability of the economy, environment and society.

This session was followed by a speech by the Hajj and Umrah Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the key speaker in the forum. The minister, who is also a member of the supervisory committee of the institute, underlined his ministry’s efforts in digital transformation for the service of pilgrims.

In the second session, which was led by Abdul-Fattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, underlined the digital transformation efforts in the Two Holy Mosques.

Other speakers shed light on the roles digital transformation is playing in receiving pilgrims and visitors to the holy sites. Future utilization of artificial intelligence and its effects in improving Hajj and Umrah services were also discussed in the 90-minute session.

Young people are also participating in the Forum’s Hajjathon 2022, a tech competition that aims to connect young generations with the Hajj and is in line with the Kingdom’s efforts to stimulate innovation. Hajjathon activities began a day before the official inauguration of the forum.

Participants are competing in creating creative, technical solutions in the fields of health, catering, waste management, transportation, travel arrangements, crowd management, financial solutions, housing, communication solutions, enrichment of pilgrims’ Hajj experience and awareness.

Through training and workshops, developing innovative ideas and counseling sessions, participants will be able to develop their skills, in addition to building relationships with leaders in the field.


Pilot dies after light aircraft crashes in Riyadh’s Al Thumamah Airport 

Pilot dies after light aircraft crashes in Riyadh’s Al Thumamah Airport 
Updated 7 sec ago

Pilot dies after light aircraft crashes in Riyadh’s Al Thumamah Airport 

Pilot dies after light aircraft crashes in Riyadh’s Al Thumamah Airport 
  • A team was sent to the site of the crash to investigate the cause and circumstances, the bureau said

A pilot died when a light aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Riyadh’s Al Thumamah Airport, Saudi Arabia’s Aviation Investigation Bureau said on Tuesday. 

The pilot was the only person on board, the statement added. 

A team was sent to the site of the crash to investigate the cause and circumstances, the bureau said. 

The airport is located about 29 kilometers from the King Khalid International Airport. 


KSrelief mobile clinics provide treatment for displaced Yemenis in Walan camp

KSrelief mobile clinics provide treatment for displaced Yemenis in Walan camp
Updated 16 August 2022

KSrelief mobile clinics provide treatment for displaced Yemenis in Walan camp

KSrelief mobile clinics provide treatment for displaced Yemenis in Walan camp

RIYADH: The mobile medical clinics of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) continued providing treatment services for the displaced in the camp of Walan in Haradh district in Yemen's Hajjah province, state-run Saudi Press Agency repoted. 
During the period from July 27 to Aug. 2, the clinics received 222 people with various health conditions, and provided them with the necessary medical services.
The clinics also provided 185 individuals with medications.
Moreover, KSrelief continued distributing food baskets in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan.
Some 1,856 food baskets were distributed to the needy people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, benefiting 12,992 people.
This comes within the project to support food security, being implemented by the KSrelief in Pakistan, to alleviate the suffering of the needy and affected people.


Saudi man arrested  for shooting gun indiscriminately after video goes viral

Saudi man arrested  for shooting gun indiscriminately after video goes viral
Updated 16 August 2022

Saudi man arrested  for shooting gun indiscriminately after video goes viral

Saudi man arrested  for shooting gun indiscriminately after video goes viral
  • The culprit has been charged with ‘endangering the lives of others’ state news agency SPA reported

DUBAI: A Saudi national was arrested in Najran city on Tuesday after he fired random shots from a personal weapon.
The culprit has been charged with ‘endangering the lives of others’ state news agency SPA reported. 
Another man, also a Saudi national, was arrested for documenting and publishing a video of the incident on social media. 
The incident comes a day after SPA reported a similar incident, which occurred in a governorate near Riyadh, where a man fired a machine gun ‘indiscriminately’ in a public place – he was arrested and now faces prosecution.


Philippines’ foreign affairs minister meets with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador 

Philippines’ foreign affairs minister meets with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador 
Updated 16 August 2022

Philippines’ foreign affairs minister meets with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador 

Philippines’ foreign affairs minister meets with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador 
  • The two officials discussed issues of mutual concern

The Philippine Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Enrique Manalo, met with Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to his country Hisham bin Sultan Al-Qahtani, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The two officials discussed issues of mutual concern and ways to enhance bilateral relations between the Kingdom and the Philippines, according to SPA. 

After Monday’s meeting, Manalo said on his official Twitter page: “I had a good meeting with the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Hisham Sultan Al-Qahtani, where we exchanged views on points of collaboration beneficial to both our peoples.”

 


Saudi crown prince washes Holy Kaaba on behalf of King Salman

Saudi crown prince washes Holy Kaaba on behalf of King Salman
Updated 16 August 2022

Saudi crown prince washes Holy Kaaba on behalf of King Salman

Saudi crown prince washes Holy Kaaba on behalf of King Salman

RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman washed the Holy Kaaba in Makkah’s Grand Mosque on behalf of King Salman, the Saudi Press Agency reported early Tuesday.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman performed Tawaf and prayed ahead of the washing ceremony.

(SPA)

He was accompanied by Saudi minister of sports, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal. They were received by president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais.

Senior officials also participated in washing the Kaaba.