Haramain railway transports over 1.3m visitors so far during Ramadan

Haramain railway transports over 1.3m visitors so far during Ramadan
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Passenger services are comprehensive, covering gate reception, reservation verification, guidance to waiting areas via escalators, and seamless transition to the train platform. (SPA photos)
Haramain railway transports over 1.3m visitors so far during Ramadan
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Passenger services are comprehensive, covering gate reception, reservation verification, guidance to waiting areas via escalators, and seamless transition to the train platform. (SPA photos)
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Updated 03 April 2024
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Haramain railway transports over 1.3m visitors so far during Ramadan

Haramain railway transports over 1.3m visitors so far during Ramadan

RIYADH: The Haramain High-Speed Railway has so far transported over 1.3 million visitors and Umrah performers during Ramadan, providing round-the-clock trips between Madinah and Makkah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Its purpose is to facilitate transportation for visitors, citizens and residents to participate in Umrah rituals and prayers at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque.

With strategically located stations in Makkah, Madinah, King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh, the Haramain High-Speed Railway is the largest transportation project in the Middle East.

Covering 450 km in approximately two hours at speeds of up to 300 kph, the electrically operated, emission-free train upholds the highest security and safety standards.

The process is managed by young Saudi specialists, from passenger reception and reservation verification to baggage procedures and direct boarding just minutes before departure. These specialists also ensure that the train adheres to its running schedule for punctuality.

Passenger services are comprehensive, covering gate reception, reservation verification, guidance to waiting areas via escalators, and seamless transition to the train platform.

Furthermore, station staff supervise security arrangements, ensure luggage safety, direct passengers to their designated seats, and assist individuals with disabilities by providing wheelchair access to designated seating areas.

To ensure a safe and convenient journey, onboard provisions — including food options and secure electronic payment methods — are provided throughout the trip. 


Visa holders can’t enter Makkah during Hajj season — Saudi interior ministry

Visa holders can’t enter Makkah during Hajj season — Saudi interior ministry
Updated 29 May 2024
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Visa holders can’t enter Makkah during Hajj season — Saudi interior ministry

Visa holders can’t enter Makkah during Hajj season — Saudi interior ministry
  • Between May 23 and June 21, only pilgrims with Hajj permits can enter Makkah
  • Interior ministry says penalties to be imposed on anyone violating the rules

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Interior has announced visit visa holders will not be allowed to enter or remain in Makkah during the Hajj season.
Between May 23 and June 21, only pilgrims with Hajj permits may do so, with penalties imposed on anyone violating the rules.
The ministry emphasized that visit visas did not give the holder permission to perform Hajj. It also urged visitors currently in Saudi Arabia to avoid travel to Makkah during the specified period.
“Violators will be subject to penalties according to the Kingdom’s regulations,” said a statement from the ministry.
Earlier, the Ministry of Interior said it would start imposing fines amounting to $2,666 on anyone, including Saudi citizens, caught entering Makkah without a Hajj permit between June 2-20.


First group of Yemeni pilgrims arrive in Jeddah for Hajj

First group of Yemeni pilgrims arrive in Jeddah for Hajj
Updated 15 min 41 sec ago
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First group of Yemeni pilgrims arrive in Jeddah for Hajj

First group of Yemeni pilgrims arrive in Jeddah for Hajj
  • The Saudi government simplified the Yemeni visitors’ travel

RIYADH: The first Yemeni pilgrims to the Kingdom to perform Hajj this year arrived through Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport.

The Saudi government simplified the Yemeni visitors’ travel with immigration officers ensuring entry procedures were carried out smoothly, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Kingdom’s General Directorate of Passports “has exerted every effort to ensure that the entry of pilgrims is facilitated, equipping all international border crossings with advanced technology and trained staff proficient in different languages spoken by pilgrims,” the report added.

Saudi Arabia in 2019 launched the Makkah Route Initiative to help Hajj pilgrims from seven countries — Morocco, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkiye and Ivory Coast — with their visa, customs and passport requirements.

The government program issues visas electronically and collects biometric data, carrying out all travel procedures at the airports of the countries of departure, including ensuring that pilgrims have a clean bill of health. Baggage is coded and sorted to meet the transport and accommodation arrangements while pilgrims are in the Kingdom.

King Salman earlier ordered the hosting of 2,322 Hajj pilgrims, a group that includes 1,000 family members of Palestinians killed or wounded by Israel or held in Israeli prisons.


Visa holders may not enter Makkah around Hajj season

Visa holders may not enter Makkah around Hajj season
Updated 29 May 2024
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Visa holders may not enter Makkah around Hajj season

Visa holders may not enter Makkah around Hajj season

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Interior has announced visit visa holders will not be allowed to enter or remain in Makkah during the Hajj season.

Between May 23 and June 21, only pilgrims with Hajj permits may do so, with penalties imposed on anyone violating the rules.

The ministry emphasized that visit visas did not give the holder permission to perform Hajj. It also urged visitors currently in Saudi Arabia to avoid travel to Makkah during the specified period.

“Violators will be subject to penalties according to the Kingdom’s regulations,” said a statement from the ministry.

Earlier, the Ministry of Interior said it would start imposing fines amounting to $2,666 on anyone, including Saudi citizens, caught entering Makkah without a Hajj permit between June 2-20.


Saudi Arabia and Austria sign economic-cooperation pact

Saudi Arabia and Austria sign economic-cooperation pact
Updated 29 May 2024
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Saudi Arabia and Austria sign economic-cooperation pact

Saudi Arabia and Austria sign economic-cooperation pact
  • The pact was inked at the ninth session of the Saudi-Austrian Joint Committee in Vienna
  • The parties aim to encourage cooperation in trade, industry, research and development, tourism, and small and medium enterprises

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s Ministry of Economy and Planning has signed a cooperation agreement with its Austria counterpart, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The pact was inked at the ninth session of the Saudi-Austrian Joint Committee in Vienna between the Kingdom’s Economy and Planning Minister Faisal bin Fadel Al-Ibrahim and Austria’s Labor and Economy Minister Martin Kocher.

The parties aim to encourage cooperation in trade, industry, research and development, tourism, and small and medium enterprises.

The countries will also organize conferences and seminars featuring experts in their fields.

The parties are committed to protecting mutual intellectual property rights, the SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia and Austria first signed economic, commercial, industrial and technology agreements in 2004.


Saudi Arabia reelected to Global Research Council leadership

Saudi Arabia reelected to Global Research Council leadership
Updated 29 May 2024
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Saudi Arabia reelected to Global Research Council leadership

Saudi Arabia reelected to Global Research Council leadership
  • The governing board voted unanimously to reelect Vice Chairman Munir bin Mahmoud Eldesouki at the body’s 12th annual meeting

RIYADH: The Kingdom has retained its leadership position in the Global Research Council, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The governing board voted unanimously to reelect Vice Chairman Munir bin Mahmoud Eldesouki at the body’s 12th annual meeting in Interlaken, Switzerland this week.

The reelection to this position, for the second time since the body’s establishment in 2012, confirms the council’s confidence in Saudi Arabia, the SPA reported.

The council highlighted Saudi Arabia’s efforts in promoting research, development and innovation in the Middle East North Africa region, the report added.

The council comprises heads of research institutions that fund projects globally.