Umrah pilgrims killed in traffic accident en route to Madinah

Paramedics from the Saudi Red Crescent are on the Al-Hijra Road in Friday morning, moments before the injured were taken to several hospitals in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah. (Supplied/ SRCA)
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Paramedics from the Saudi Red Crescent are on the Al-Hijra Road in Friday morning, moments before the injured were taken to several hospitals in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah. (Supplied/ SRCA)
Paramedics from the Saudi Red Crescent are on the Al-Hijra Road in Friday morning, moments before the injured were taken to several hospitals in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah. (Supplied/ SRCA)
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Paramedics from the Saudi Red Crescent are on the Al-Hijra Road in Friday morning, moments before the injured were taken to several hospitals in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah. (Supplied/ SRCA)
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Updated 24 April 2022

Umrah pilgrims killed in traffic accident en route to Madinah

Paramedics from the Saudi Red Crescent are on the Al-Hijra Road in Friday morning, moments before the injured were taken to several hospitals in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah. (Supplied/ SRCA)
  • An eyewitness confirmed to Arab News that most of those killed were Egyptians and Sudanese

RIYADH: Eight pilgrims were killed and 13 were injured on their way to Madinah when the bus they were traveling in overturned on Friday morning.

A Saudi Red Crescent Authority operations room received a notification at 6:14 a.m. on Friday stating that a bus had overturned on Al-Hijra Road, near the town of Wadi Al-Fara, according to a statement issued on Friday evening.

The authority’s vehicles and teams were immediately directed to deal with the accident and the injured travelers, said Dr. Ahmed Al-Zahrani, director general of the SRCA branch in Madinah. He added that 20 ambulance teams and six teams responded to the incident.

An eyewitness confirmed to Arab News that most of those killed were Egyptians and Sudanese and that the bus had most likely veered off the road.

Al-Zahrani said there were 51 people on the bus. Three people were seriously injured and there were 10 who were moderately injured. The condition of the remaining passengers was stable by the time the teams arrived on the scene.

Five of the injured were taken to hospitals in the area once they had been given on-site treatment and triage by the emergency teams.

“The emergency teams were present at the site until the completion of the Civil Defense work to get the trapped people out of the bus and the deceased were transferred through the non-ambulatory transportation of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority,” he said.

The Al-Hijra Road links the two holy cities. The pilgrims had completed Umrah and were going to Madinah to spend time there.

Earlier this month, on April 16, another bus carrying pilgrims overturned. One person died and several were injured.


Hajj, Umrah e-services app undergoes update, name change

Hajj, Umrah e-services app undergoes update, name change
Updated 16 sec ago

Hajj, Umrah e-services app undergoes update, name change

Hajj, Umrah e-services app undergoes update, name change

MAKKAH: Hajj and Umrah government officials have alerted pilgrims around the world about an important update and name change to a key services and permits app for the Two Holy Mosques.

Launching the newly named Nusuk app, an update on the Eatmarna platform, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said visitors and worshippers would be able to access a range of e-services including applying for a visa and booking hotels and flights.

Hajj and Umrah services adviser, Ahmed Saleh Halabi, told Arab News: “During the past few years, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has been keen to switch to the e-government system to add ease to the experience of pilgrims and visitors. As such, their experience will be forever remembered as an enriched religious journey.”

He pointed out that the portal allowed users to select from a list of service packages.

“The program will provide the pilgrims with a cultural and religious journey, while reflecting the bright and civilized side of the Kingdom in the Two Holy Mosques,” he added.

The platform has been designed to provide services and information to help worshippers perform rituals with ease and is part of the Saudi Vision 2030 objectives to improve service offerings and the quality of religious experience.

Ahmed Bajaiffer, an investor in Umrah companies, said: “Nusuk is the representation of the strong will of the Kingdom’s leaders and their loyalty toward Muslims, citizens, and residents.”

Nusuk has been launched in cooperation with the Saudi Tourism Authority and is linked to the services provided by the Kingdom’s official tourism website, Visit Saudi Arabia.

Head of the World Hajj and Umrah Convention, Mohsin Tutla, told Arab News: “What Nusuk has developed resonates with the World Hajj and Umrah Care Foundation’s vision toward enhancing the pilgrim’s experience.

“When traveling to a foreign country, visitors may often feel anxiety or even fear; for many, Arabic is not their first language, and trying to make sense of the cultural practices of a new country at times can be difficult.”

Via the nusuk.sa platform, Hajj and Umrah performers can receive visit or Umrah visas with the option to buy a service package and pay electronically.

“The launch of this service sends a strong message with it: We are listening, we are caring, and we will provide the solutions to continually enrich your experience, and we do it with passion, as the Kingdom sees serving pilgrims as a privilege and obligation,” Tutla added.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, more than 21.5 million Umrah and Hajj performers had registered with the Eatmarna app since its launch, and it has issued 6.4 million permits to visit and pray at Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifah at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.


New Saudi defense minister meets senior ministry officials

New Saudi defense minister meets senior ministry officials
Updated 28 September 2022

New Saudi defense minister meets senior ministry officials

New Saudi defense minister meets senior ministry officials
  • Prince Khalid bin Salman said the ministry will continue to follow the path set by his predecessor, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s new minister of defense, Prince Khalid bin Salman, met senior ministry officials in his office on Wednesday.

Formerly the deputy defense minister, his appointment was announced on Tuesday as part of a cabinet reshuffle. He takes over from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was appointed prime minister.

Prince Khalid gave a speech in which he thanked King Salman and the crown prince for the trust they have placed in him. He said the close attention his predecessor paid to the work of the Ministry of Defense had resulted the launch of its development program, which reflects the crown prince’s belief in efforts to maintain the highest standards of military development.

He stressed that the ministry will continue to follow the path set by the crown prince to become a modern institution staffed by professional and joint military forces capable of protecting homeland security from external threats, and leading alliances with high degrees of competency. 

 

 


Saudi defense minister meets with head of Yemeni presidential leadership council

Saudi defense minister meets with head of Yemeni presidential leadership council
Updated 19 min 38 sec ago

Saudi defense minister meets with head of Yemeni presidential leadership council

Saudi defense minister meets with head of Yemeni presidential leadership council
  • Prince Khalid was appointed Minister of Defense by royal decree on Tuesday
  • Minister assured Al-Alimi that the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen will continue to support Yemeni people

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman met with the head of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Al-Alimi on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Prince Khalid and Al-Alimi discussed the latest developments in Yemen, the Kingdom’s appreciation of the council’s efforts, and its wishes for peace, stability, and prosperity in the country.

Prince Khalid assured Al-Alimi that the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen will continue to support the Yemeni people and their aspirations for the council to achieve peace, stability, and security in their country.

Prince Khalid was appointed Minister of Defense by royal decree on Tuesday.


Saudi officials sign deal to develop Saudi UK Tech Hub

Saudi officials sign deal to develop Saudi UK Tech Hub
Updated 28 September 2022

Saudi officials sign deal to develop Saudi UK Tech Hub

Saudi officials sign deal to develop Saudi UK Tech Hub
  • Ministry and Saudi British Joint Business Council will work together on platform to connect entrepreneurs in both countries with partners and investors

RIYADH: The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi British Joint Business Council to develop the Saudi UK Tech Hub, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The hub is a digital platform that aims to connect Saudi and British entrepreneurs with partners and supporters in both countries, while enhancing and supporting the technical ecosystems.

Under the agreement, which was signed by Ibrahim Al-Nasser, undersecretary at the ministry, and SBJBC CEO Chris Anis Hopkins, the two sides will establish a board of directors comprising representatives from the Saudi and British public and private sectors. SBJBC will manage the hub’s financial affairs and provide support.

By helping to facilitate knowledge transfer, increase investment, and strengthen relationships, the platform aims to support the efforts of both countries to develop their positions as regional technology and innovation hubs, authorities said.

 


Arab, Muslim leaders congratulate Saudi crown prince on his appointment as prime minister

Arab, Muslim leaders congratulate Saudi crown prince on his appointment as prime minister
Updated 28 September 2022

Arab, Muslim leaders congratulate Saudi crown prince on his appointment as prime minister

Arab, Muslim leaders congratulate Saudi crown prince on his appointment as prime minister
  • Leaders wish Saudi crown prince success and hope that relations between their countries will continue to grow under his leadership

RIYADH: Arab and Muslim leaders have congratulated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman following his appointment as Saudi Arabia’s prime minister on Tuesday, Saudi Press Agency reported.  

UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum congratulated the crown prince on his appointment.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani wished the crown prince success and hoped the relations between the two brotherly countries will continue to develop and grow. 

Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa also sent a similar cable. 

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said: “On this occasion, I congratulate His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, wishing him further success and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia further welfare and prosperity under the leadership of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.”