Barriers around Kaaba removed after two years as new Umrah season begins

Barriers around Kaaba removed after two years as new Umrah season begins
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The barriers around the holy Kaaba — installed two years ago to prevent the spread of coronavirus — were removed on Tuesday. (Supplied)
Barriers around Kaaba removed after two years as new Umrah season begins
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The barriers around the holy Kaaba — installed two years ago to prevent the spread of coronavirus — were removed on Tuesday. (Supplied)
Barriers around Kaaba removed after two years as new Umrah season begins
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The barriers around the holy Kaaba — installed two years ago to prevent the spread of coronavirus — were removed on Tuesday. (Supplied)
Barriers around Kaaba removed after two years as new Umrah season begins
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The barriers around the holy Kaaba — installed two years ago to prevent the spread of coronavirus — were removed on Tuesday. (Photos @ReasahAlharmain) https://arab.news/5q9gy
Barriers around Kaaba removed after two years as new Umrah season begins
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The barriers around the holy Kaaba — installed two years ago to prevent the spread of coronavirus — were removed on Tuesday. (Photos @ReasahAlharmain) https://arab.news/5q9gy
Barriers around Kaaba removed after two years as new Umrah season begins
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The barriers around the holy Kaaba — installed two years ago to prevent the spread of coronavirus — were removed on Tuesday. (Supplied)
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Updated 03 August 2022

Barriers around Kaaba removed after two years as new Umrah season begins

Barriers around Kaaba removed after two years as new Umrah season begins
  • The barriers were installed in March 2020 to ensure social distancing between pilgrims, a preventive measure to contain the spread of coronavirus

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has decided after two years to remove the preventive barriers around the Holy Kaaba, allowing worshippers to once more touch the house of Allah. 

Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, who leads the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the decision on Tuesday.

The barriers were installed to ensure social distancing between pilgrims.

The area surrounding the Kaaba, where pilgrims circumambulate seven times, was closed in March 2020 for sterilization as a preventive measure to contain the spread of coronavirus.

 

 

Al-Sudais said that this decision showed the care the Saudi leadership took for visitors to the Grand Mosque and its devotion to facilitating their rituals in a safe and spiritual atmosphere, given the huge number of visitors that the mosque had begun to witness with the start of the Umrah season.

He said the presidency was cooperating with all sectors operating in the Grand Mosque to receive pilgrims and provide all necessary services, in line with the aspirations of the Kingdom’s leadership.

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In pictures: The barriers around the Kaaba are removed

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He extended his gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their care, attention, and support for the Two Holy Mosques. He prayed to Allah to bless them for their good deeds.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques said it had begun preparations to provide services early on, in line with crowd management plans, and prepared the Grand Mosque in Makkah and its courtyards to facilitate Umrah rituals for pilgrims with ease and tranquillity.


Saudi King invites Chinese president to visit Kingdom on Wednesday

Saudi King invites Chinese president to visit Kingdom on Wednesday
Updated 06 December 2022

Saudi King invites Chinese president to visit Kingdom on Wednesday

Saudi King invites Chinese president to visit Kingdom on Wednesday

King Salman invited President of China Xi Jinping for an official visit to attend the Saudi-Chinese summit held in Saudi Arabia from Dec. 7 to 9, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday. 

The summit will be chaired by King Salman and the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. It will look at relations between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Arab states with the People's Republic of China,

Discussions are expected to focus on strengthening joint cooperation in economy and development.


Saudi’s aid agency concludes anti-blindness program in Morocco

Saudi’s aid agency concludes anti-blindness program in Morocco
Updated 06 December 2022

Saudi’s aid agency concludes anti-blindness program in Morocco

Saudi’s aid agency concludes anti-blindness program in Morocco
  • KSRelief continued providing medical aid to Syrian refugees residing in Jordan’s Zaatari camp

RIYADH: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has concluded an anti-blindness voluntary program in Morocco’s Tiflet.

Under the Saudi Noor Voluntary Program, held in collaboration with the Kingdom’s Al-Basar International Foundation, doctors performed 462 cataract removal operations, examined 5,800 patients and distributed 1,470 glasses.

The program comes as part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to help low-income families in the region, according to a statement by state news agency (SPA).

KSRelief continued providing medical aid to Syrian refugees residing in Jordan’s Zaatari camp. The agency’s medical clinics offered consultations to 14,704 refugees during November, said SPA.

The laboratory and radiology departments also received 1,480 people.


Saudi Arabia’s MASAM project clears 1,307 mines in one week in Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s MASAM project clears 1,307 mines in one week in Yemen
Updated 06 December 2022

Saudi Arabia’s MASAM project clears 1,307 mines in one week in Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s MASAM project clears 1,307 mines in one week in Yemen
  • MASAM removed over 375,000 mines from Yemen since its 2018 launch

RIYADH: A total of 1,307 mines planted by the Iran-backed Houthi militia across Yemen were dismantled in one week under King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center’s (KSrelief) Masam project.

The extraction, which took place at the end of November, included 20 anti-personnel mines, 113 anti-tank mines, 1,170 unexploded ordnance, and four explosive devices, state news agency (SPA) reported.

Since its launch in 2018, the landmine clearance project has removed over 375,000 mines from Yemeni lands.

Earlier in June, KSRelief renewed Masam project for a fifth year at a cost of $33.292 million.


Saudi adventurers complete 1,200 km walk to mark UAE National Day

Saudi adventurers complete 1,200 km walk to mark UAE National Day
Updated 05 December 2022

Saudi adventurers complete 1,200 km walk to mark UAE National Day

Saudi adventurers complete 1,200 km walk to mark UAE National Day
  • Naif told Arab News that the walk had been “another accomplishment” after he previously completed more than 4 billion steps, covering 4,000 km on foot, through nine treks taking in NEOM, Makkah, Abha, Madinah, and AlUla

JEDDAH: Two Saudi adventurers have arrived in Abu Dhabi after walking for 30 days to celebrate the 51st UAE National Day.

Thirty-two-year-old Naif Shukri and his nephew Abdul Ellah Shukri, 19, started their trek from Riyadh passing through Al-Ahsa and Al-Hofuf before arriving at the UAE border, a journey of 1,200 kilometers.

Naif told Arab News that the walk had been “another accomplishment” after he previously completed more than 4 billion steps, covering 4,000 km on foot, through nine treks taking in NEOM, Makkah, Abha, Madinah, and AlUla.

He said: “Our journey titled, the Saudi is Emirati and the Emirati is Saudi, has several goals, but the most notable was the participation with Emirati brothers in their UAE National Day. It was a way to express our love and affection to the Emirati people.”

He broadcasted his trip on social media and was amazed by the interaction from Emiratis many of whom were waiting to greet the duo on the UAE border.

On Dec. 1, followers, supporters, and friends gathered at Bani Yas as Naif sent pictures of himself and his nephew holding the Saudi and UAE flag and another showing them arriving in the UAE.

“The Emirati people have been so hospitable and encouraging. The best part of the journey was the warm welcome we received upon our arrival,” he added.

 

 


Film AlUla begins construction of studio complex

Film AlUla begins construction of studio complex
Updated 05 December 2022

Film AlUla begins construction of studio complex

Film AlUla begins construction of studio complex
  • Film AlUla has hosted 694 production days since opening in 2020

JEDDAH: Film AlUla, the film agency of the Royal Commission for AlUla, has started construction on the first phase of its studio complex.

The finished complex will cover around 30,000 square meters and is set to be up and running by the end of next year.

The first phase will include two world-class soundstages, production support buildings, workshops, a pyro/sfx building, a sound recording studio, catering and administration buildings and a 6,500 square meter backlot.

HIGHLIGHT

The first phase will include two world-class soundstages, production support buildings, workshops, a pyro/sfx building, a sound recording studio, catering and administration buildings and a 6,500 square meter backlot. It is located near 12 sq. km of outdoor shooting locations showcasing the beauty and ancient heritage of AlUla, making it the best suitable for on-location filming and set construction.

It is located near 12 sq. km of outdoor shooting locations showcasing the beauty and ancient heritage of AlUla, making it the best suitable for on-location filming and set construction.

“AlUla is a thriving center for arts, culture and heritage. With the film and screen sector of central focus the first phase of this studio complex is carefully planned and part of a much larger program of infrastructure development,” said Charlene Deleon-Jones, executive director of Film AlUla.

“This complex will satisfy the growing demand from regional and international producers to shoot at AlUla, while also supplying an epicenter for our production ecosystem. The studio complex will diversify AlUla’s economy, in line with the objectives of RCU, as we build a home to nurture Saudi talent in the screen sector for generations to come,” he added.

Film AlUla worked with the US-based company Tait to ensure that work in AlUla would be uncluttered and comfortable, including during summer.

The studio complex will be 14 minutes from the Film AlUla Residence, which has 300 rooms, restaurants, recreational facilities and office space for industry professionals, and 20 minutes from AlUla International Airport, which recently opened a hangar for private jets. It lies outside the airport’s flightpath.

Phase two will be announced in the second quarter of 2023.

The project aims to attract local and international productions is bolstered by Saudi Arabia’s offer of a cashback rebate of up to 40 percent for international and local feature films, television series and documentaries.

The studio complex is also meeting rigorous environmental standards. Film AlUla contracted environmental agencies to conduct a 10-month impact assessment on the new location and will build it under continuous environmental monitoring.

Film AlUla has hosted 694 production days since opening in 2020. Movies include Kandahar, directed by Ric Roman Waugh and starring Gerard Butler, which was the first major Hollywood feature to shoot almost entirely in AlUla, and the Iraq war story Cherry, starring Tom Holland and directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.

Additionally, Norah was the first Saudi feature film to shoot at AlUla entirely and featured an all-Saudi cast and more than 40 percent Saudi crew.

A number of TV productions have been filmed in AlUla including the British series Expedition with Steve Backshall and Nat Geo documentaries, along with commercials, promotions, photo-shoots and short films.