Black Stone and Grand Mosque in Makkah upkeep under ‘expert control’

The presidency was working jointly with several government bodies to prepare for the influx of Umrah pilgrims. (SPA)
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The presidency was working jointly with several government bodies to prepare for the influx of Umrah pilgrims. (SPA)
Black Stone and Grand Mosque in Makkah upkeep under ‘expert control’
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The presidency was working jointly with several government bodies to prepare for the influx of Umrah pilgrims. (SPA)
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Updated 12 March 2022

Black Stone and Grand Mosque in Makkah upkeep under ‘expert control’

In the wake of the government lifting its precautionary measures, 500 security personnel will remain on duty inside and outside the mosque to ensure the safety of pilgrims and visitors. (SPA)
  • 32 sheikhs, several judges and university scholars available to guide pilgrims
  • 500 security officers on duty inside, outside the mosque

MAKKAH: Several teams of experts have been deployed to provide services for pilgrims at the Grand Mosque including maintaining the Kaaba’s Black Stone, cleaning prayer areas, ensuring guidance information and proper translations, and establishing security and crowd control.

This is according to Dr. Saad bin Mohammed Al-Muhaimid, the under-secretary-general for the affairs of the Grand Mosque, who told Arab News that the presidency was working jointly with several government bodies to prepare for the influx of Umrah pilgrims.
On the upkeep of the Black Stone, he told Arab News: “The maintenance work is carried out by a professional specialist technical team, using modern advanced methods.” He said they have been able to complete all their work within “record time” while taking into account precautionary measures.
Al-Muhaimid said that the preparations have included ensuring that officials can manage pilgrims entering and leaving the Grand Mosque, and ease their circumambulation around the Kaaba.

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95k

Among the services provided include moveable shelves designated for Qur’ans translated into Braille and several languages. A total of 95,473 Qur’ans have been available in various areas inside the Grand Mosque.

Among the services provided include moveable shelves designated for Qur’ans translated into Braille and several languages. A total of 95,473 Qur’ans have been available in various areas inside the Grand Mosque. Al-Muhaimid explained that given the importance of performing the Umrah rituals, such as the circumambulation, as stipulated by the Prophet  Muhammad (peace be upon him), more than 40 mutawwifs are at the service of pilgrims. These guides are ready to accompany pilgrims throughout their pilgrimage and provide expert advice.
The Grand Mosque’s guides also provide answers to questions in several languages. There are also seven sites inside the mosque and four offices where pilgrims can use telephones throughout the day to ask questions of 32 sheikhs, several judges and university scholars.
In the wake of the government lifting its precautionary measures, 500 security personnel will remain on duty inside and outside the mosque to ensure the safety of pilgrims and visitors.
Al-Muhaimid said that the Grand Mosque’s mukabariyah has been equipped, sanitized, scented and furnished with 15,000 carpets. There are also ongoing operations to clean, disinfect and sanitize the entire mosque 10 times a day, with the help of over 4,000 male and female workers, 80,000 liters of disinfectant, and 1,700 liters per day of the finest scents through 100 scent diffusers. This maintenance is also provided for the King Fahd Expansion and its pathways.
As part of its goal to spread Islamic messages from the Two Holy Mosques to visitors and Muslims around the world, Al-Muhaimid said the authority operates radio broadcasts 24 hours a day in 10 approved international languages through its Manarat Al-Haramain platform.


Saudi Arabia announces vital developmental projects in Yemen

Saudi Arabia announces vital developmental projects in Yemen
Updated 30 June 2022

Saudi Arabia announces vital developmental projects in Yemen

Saudi Arabia announces vital developmental projects in Yemen
  • Initiatives include 17 development projects in 6 sectors, valued at $400 million
  • A further $200 million will provide oil derivatives to operate power stations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has announced a number of vital developmental projects in Yemen to bolster the economy, the Kingdom’s deputy defense minister said on Thursday.

“The initiatives include 17 development projects in 6 sectors, valued at $400 million, in addition to $200 million in oil derivatives for power stations,” Prince Khalid bin Salman tweeted.

The projects will be carried out by the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen and aim to help the Yemeni people.

Prince Khalid met with the President of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council Dr. Rashad Al-Alimi and members of the council to convey the Kingdom’s support and appreciation for their efforts.

The deputy defense minister said Saudi Arabia is committed to alleviating the suffering in Yemen and achieving security, peace, stability, and economic development.


Saudi Heritage Commission launches partnership with Noon.com

Saudi Heritage Commission launches partnership with Noon.com
Updated 30 June 2022

Saudi Heritage Commission launches partnership with Noon.com

Saudi Heritage Commission launches partnership with Noon.com
  • Local artisans will be able access to a larger consumer audience through the Noon Mahali program

RIYADH: The Heritage Commission on Thursday signed a cooperation agreement with Noon, an online shopping platform, to empower local businesses in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

A ceremony was held at the Commission's headquarters to commemorate this partnership, which was attended by Heritage Commission CEO Dr. Jasir Suleiman Alherbish and General Manager of Noon KSA, Ahmed Abdel Qader Gadouri.

Under this agreement, Saudi artisans will be able to sell craft products and cultural heritage content online, gaining access to a larger audience through Noon's Mahali program.

The program also aims to assist local entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses improve their product quality.

Dr. Alherbish thanked Noon for its cooperation, emphasizing the significant benefits gained through the agreement.

He also made note of the Commission's numerous initiatives to develop the handicraft sector, such as training programs and providing a consumer audience through outlets, exhibitions, events, and festivals.

"Our collaboration with the Heritage Commission demonstrates our ongoing commitment to assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses. The Mahali program helps local talent grow their businesses by providing them with the tools and services they need to reach a larger segment of customers in the region." Gadouri said.

The Noon Mahali program exemplifies the company's founding goal of empowering local talent through the development of a strong e-commerce platform.

The agreement is part of the Heritage Commission's broader efforts to strengthen partnerships with the public and private sectors as part of the Kingdom's cultural sector development.


Saudi Arabia offers global forum a vision of a new urban future

Saudi Arabia offers global forum a vision of a new urban future
Updated 30 June 2022

Saudi Arabia offers global forum a vision of a new urban future

Saudi Arabia offers global forum a vision of a new urban future
  • The Kingdom’s Architecture and Design Commission took part in the recent forum with a display featuring the King Salman Charter for Architecture and Urbanism
  • Among the charter’s aims is the creation of memorable buildings and spaces that integrate cultural and national identity

RIYADH: An exhibition outlining Saudi Arabia’s future urbanization strategy may inspire a new community-focused approach to architecture following its debut at the 11th World Urban Forum in Katowice, Poland.

The Kingdom’s Architecture and Design Commission took part in the recent forum with a display featuring the King Salman Charter for Architecture and Urbanism, launched late last year to help develop the sector as part of Vision 2030.

King Salman’s architectural vision, developed during his five decades as governor of Riyadh region, was highlighted in the exhibition, which also showcased exemplary projects in the Kingdom.

Among the charter’s aims is the creation of memorable buildings and spaces that integrate cultural and national identity, as well as contemporary designs that meet the needs of local communities.

The commission hopes to increase awareness of the charter, and inspire architects and designers worldwide in line with the forum’s theme “Transforming Our Cities for a Better Urban Future.”

A panel discussion on the charter brought together CEO of the Saudi Architecture and Design Commission Sumayah Al-Solaiman, founder of Dabbagh Architects Sumaya Dabbagh, and Arup Group’s director of master planning and urban design Daniel Ringelstein.

Al-Solaiman said: “Our participation at WUF 2022 opens new horizons for applying the charter and presents an excellent opportunity to introduce the international public to its methodology. By showcasing the ways in which the charter has already improved the built environment, we highlighted the range of circumstances in which the charter can be applied to improve quality of life not only in Saudi Arabia, but also further afield.”

This is the exhibition’s first international appearance after touring through five cities in Saudi Arabia: Riyadh, Abha, Jeddah, Dhahran and Madinah.

The World Urban Forum was established in 2001 by the UN to examine the growing global issue of rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies and climate change.


First group of Omani pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia ahead of Hajj

First group of Omani pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia ahead of Hajj
Updated 30 June 2022

First group of Omani pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia ahead of Hajj

First group of Omani pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia ahead of Hajj
  • The pilgrims’ entry procedures were completed with ease
  • Thursday marks the start of Dhu Al-Hijjah, the month during which Hajj is performed

RIYADH: The first group of Omani pilgrims arrived in the Kingdom through the Empty Quarter port ahead of Hajj, Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

Thursday marks the start of Dhu Al-Hijjah, the month during which Hajj is performed. The first day of Hajj, 8th of Dhu Al-Hijjah, will fall on July 7, and the pilgrimage will end on the 12th day of the month (July 11). Arafat Day falls on the 9th day of Dhu Al-Hijjah (July 8).

The pilgrims’ entry procedures were completed with ease, and the General Directorate of Passports is supporting sites designated to serve pilgrims with modern technical devices and qualified employees so that procedures are completed without delay, SPA said.


Saudi Police arrest 15 Hajj fraudsters

Saudi Police arrest 15 Hajj fraudsters
Updated 30 June 2022

Saudi Police arrest 15 Hajj fraudsters

Saudi Police arrest 15 Hajj fraudsters
  • Illegal online adverts included providing transportation to the holy sites securing sacrifices for pilgrims

RIYADH – Saudi authorities arrested 15 people in two separate operations for offering fraudulent Hajj-related services, state news agency (SPA) reported.

Makkah police arrested seven residents of different nationalities for promoting fake services on social media involving Hajj performed on behalf of others.

The illegal online adverts also included providing transportation to the holy sites and hotels, as well as securing and distributing sacrifices for pilgrims, according to the SPA statement.

In a separate operation, Riyadh police detained seven residents for offering fake transportation services for pilgrims to Makkah. Another resident was detained for running an unlicensed website in Riyadh to promote fraudulent Hajj campaigns.  

The fraudsters were detained and referred to public prosecution.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah earlier warned against suspicious sites and social media accounts offering unauthorized Hajj-related services, stressing that the ministry's online platforms are the only official channels to book Hajj campaigns inside the Kingdom.