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As Salam alykum, im pretty sure Hilton towers are the ones closer to masjidulharam.. It is a nice place to stay in and i would definately recommend it.. Please check out my reply on this thread How close it is?..uhhm i would say its probably 15-20 meters away or close .. ok.. let me put it this way.. its as close as if you were in your hotel room at the time the "athan" (calling for prayer) was announced .. you can make it to almasjid by the time of the iqama :) .. the backside of the loby is connected to a passway with shops on your right and left side that takes you to a gate.. when you are on the other side of the gate you are literally few steps away "or close lol :)" from the Masjidulharam..

Tips For Umrah

    * A trick to kissing the black stone is to join the queue 10 - 15 minutes before the azan for Asar. The people pushing are shooed away and the line moves quickly. why didnt I read this before. When I was there 2 weeks ago I just couldnt get near the black stone, it was crowded with women. they were more pushy than the men. I found the close proximity to women in this area to be a little unsettling, especially when I was in my pure state of ihram. Not good in that state to have to brush up against scores of women. So, I decided to stay away and did my tawafs in a wider circuit thus avoiding that corner altogether. This is a great shame, that some people lose all patience and respect for others when doing the tawaf. I live in hope that I can touch the black stone next time inshallah.
    * It will take 2 - 3 hours to go from touch down to leaving the airport if not busy
    * There are touts that will put your bags on their trolley and bring you through the bag checks. They are not necessary and will want SR10 for helping you. In fact most everyone that wants to help you by praying for you, taking your picture for you, or lending you scissors will want money in return.
    * Going to Madinah by GMC rather than flight is much easier and quicker. It was 4 hours including one stop. The bus took longer, 5 - 6 hours. Same for the way back.
    * If you have glasses don't keep them in front of you. If anything they need to be directly in between your feet. People will walk right in front of you and through you at times.
    * Al Baqi closes other than after Subuh until 9am. Most tour groups don't go into much detail and go quick. If you want to see more hunt for a good map of Baqi online and go yourself. Its nice to just wander, feeling the energy there. The prophet's son Ibrahim's grave has especially strong energy. Note that the guards are very sensitive to people reading prayers and taking pictures so you need to be very discreet. Not all umrah books have details on prayers for individual graves. For Malaysia the Tabung Haji book is good.
    * The busiest time is obviously hajj, followed by Ramadhan. Next is just after the umrah visa's open again. The quietest is before the umrah visa's are given (Ziarah permit is given) but only a few countries are eligible to go, including Malaysia and Brunei.
    * Install a GPS for you shoes. Just kidding, but seriously though when you get the main Kaaba area turn around and see exactly where you came from. Please remember that sometimes things are funny in Mecca. One time I was lazy to finish my Dzikr so I went to leave but could not find my shoes anywhere. Finally I gave up and finished my dzikr. Only then I realized I had gone to the wrong green sign!
    * On the second floor of Safwa tower (next to Zam Zam tower) is Felda restaurant for decent Malay food. They seem to be open more than other restaurants. P3 and P4 of the Zam Zam tower are restaurants. Citarasa is a decent Indonesian place, included in our package. For them it is RM50 for buffet. The food prices seem to be around double what it would be in Malaysia. Individual fast food meal would be SR20 - 25, as compared to SR10 or so in Malaysia. Fast food at Zam Zam includes Burger King, KFC, Hardees, Pizza Hut, Movenpick Ice Cream and Baskin Robbins.
    * Zam Zam well has been closed since 2003 so no need to hunt for it!
    Tips for umrah
Assalamu Alaikum, Inshaallah I am going for Umrah this week from USA. Can someone give me contact number for Dal Al Firdous hotel please ? I want to stay there. I stayed there in 2006 for Umrah but don't have the contact info. Jazakallah

In Ad Diriyah... Saudi youth steal hearts with their art

RIYADH — Photographers, artists, calligraphists and more; Saudi Arabian innovation is on the rise, and it will be on show at the Formula E 2018 event in the history city of Ad Diriyah located in the capital Riyadh, from Dec. 13 to Dec. 15. Within this piece we present to you the most creative Saudi minds in various fields and their different skillsets that will be showcased to audiences across the region. Each talent has a unique vibe that helps them connect with audiences and create a wow factor that has been a key part of their success in stealing audience’s hearts. The most exciting part about this group of innovative minds is that they come from all ages, as participants even as young as 17 years old have shown their excellence on the regional stage. The first participant is Heba, a self-taught photographer based in Riyadh who places a special focus on portraits and her love or street life. Influenced by playful narratives, color, lights and elegance, Heba enjoys creating stories with a cinematic approach. She is also inspired by strength, unique beauty and timeless style.

The second photographer is Fahad Bahada — a commercial and artistic photographer — based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He explains, “when I'm not taking photos, you'll find me educating people in art, exploring the world, or spending time with friends and family”. Following Bahada is the calligraphist Marhoum. The two most appropriate words that come to mind when describing Marhoum’s approach to art are sensitivity and accuracy. Marhoum’s first love as a young boy was calligraphy and to this date it fuels his soul with energy and positivity. The upcoming participant is Abdulaziz, a young amateur photographer who turned professional in 2016. Throughout his work, Abdulaziz wants to show the liveliness of Saudi Arabia to the rest of the world. He wants to express that Saudi Arabia is a country of love and happiness, but no matter how much it develops, it will always stay true to its traditions. Following Abdulaziz is Musaed Al Hulis (born in 1973 in Al Baha) — the first of the artists — and he holds a master’s degree in Design and Analysis of Vehicle Systems from the University of Huddersfield in the UK. Due to his extensive support of the arts movement in Saudi Arabia, he has received several certificates and awards of appreciation. Visual artist Hussein Al Mohasen (born in 1971 in Qatif) is next and this man has been active on the Gulf art scene since 1999 when his work was first exhibited at the Al-Janadriya Festival in his native Saudi Arabia. Since that period, he has occupied a place alongside the pioneering Saudi artists. The next artist is Turki Alromaih, a Saudi artist who is known for his vivid, colorful, and large-scale murals and paintings. Using styles such as graffiti, street art, pop art, and a bit of spontaneous realism, his work reflects human complexity and emotion. The exciting Mazen Al Shamrani, also known as MAZGRAFFITI, is one of the graffiti artists, and he comes from Jeddah. He started his career in early 2004 and contributed at more than 5 international events with more than 130 artists from all around the world. Following Al Shamrani is Mohamad Ghulman, a calligrapher and product designer born and raised in Jeddah too. Due to his bad handwriting as a youngster, he looked to develop his capabilities and this is where he found his passion in Arabic calligraphy. He then added English calligraphy to his skillset at a later stage. Furthermore, Ghulman is humble as a result of the accomplishments he achieved after initial struggles. He’s always available to lend a helping hand, just like people did for him before. Finally, we have the veteran Nughaimshi. Since the early stages of his life he has been influenced by visual and kinetic arts. He is also passionate about Typography and Symbolism. What Nughaimshi presents is a conceptual art that mixes performance, contemporary Arabic characters and nature to create harmony between them. He has participated in several Gulf and international exhibitions, including eight in the United States of America, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

Expats seek iqama renewal for dependents above 25

Lt. Col. Badr Al-Quraini By Okaz/Saudi RIYADH — Several expatriates have urged the General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) to allow them to renew the residence permits (iqamas) of their children above the age of 25 until the completion of their higher studies. However, Lt. Col. Badr Al-Quraini, spokesman of the Jawazat, said that there are strict regulations that the iqamas of expatriate workers’ dependents who cross the age 25 will not be renewed. Under the Jawazat rules, iqamas of girls between the age of 18 and 25 will only be renewed on the submission of certificates showing that they are still unmarried. In the case of boys, iqamas in the above age group will only be renewed on the submission of certificates showing that they are pursuing higher studies. But many expatriates urged the authorities to renew iqamas of their children who are above 25 years of age and are pursuing university studies, especially in medicine and engineering.

No quota hike for Indonesian pilgrims

Saudi Gazette JEDDAH — Indonesia, which has been sending the largest contingent of pilgrims to the annual Haj in Makkah, on Monday signed the bilateral agreement with Saudi Arabia regarding arrangements for the 2019 season. Minister of Haj and Umrah Dr. Mohamemd Saleh Benten and visiting Indonesian Minister for Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin signed the agreement at the Saudi minister’s office in Makkah. Deputy Minister of Haj and Umrah Abdulfattah Bin Sulaiman Mashat, Secretary for Services in the Ministry of Haj Mohammed Bin Saleh Sharikh and other senior officials was present from the Saudi side at the signing ceremony following wide-ranging discussions. From the Indonesian side, religious affairs officials including a quality assessment team, Consul General Mohamad Hery Saripuddin and other senior officials attended. Indonesia asked Saudi Arabia to increase its existing quota to cater to the growing waiting list of pilgrims, according to officials. They also the said it sought the expansion of Makkah Road project to more airports in the country. However, Saripuddin said there was no increase in the quota for the upcoming Haj. “Indonesia and Saudi Arabia has signed the annual Haj agreement on existing quota of 221,000 and there is no increase,” he said. Saripuddin told Saudi Gazette 3.9 million Indonesians had registered to perform Haj and their minimum period was 10 years. He said in view of the high demand, Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, has been urging Saudi Arabia to increase its quota of pilgrims. Saripuddin also said Indonesia wanted to expand the Makkah Road Project for pre-clearance of pilgrims for hassle-free entry upon arrival in the Kingdom from Jakarta to all embarkation points in the country. The consul general said Indonesian pilgrims flew out from 12 embarkation points and some of them were busier than the Jakarta airport. “We held wide range of discussions regarding the land transportation inside the Kingdom and also the housing facility for pilgrims. A specialized team from Quality of Service Performance Index of the Indonesian government joined us to assess these services,” Saripuddin added. The Indonesian side emphasized the need for ensuring the quality of ethnic food served to the pilgrims while suggesting the food to be cooked by native Indonesians, he said.

Makarem wins Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Award for 2018

RIYADH — Makarem Hotels, the Saudi hotel brand created by Dur Hospitality and specialized in providing spiritual hospitality services in KSA’s holy cities, won the Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Award for Saudi Arabia’s Leading Hotel Group for 2018 during a ceremony held recently in Dubai. Makarem Hotels won the Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Award for its world-class and authentic hospitality services. Hassan Ahdab, President of Hotel Operations at Dur Hospitality, expressed his pride in winning such a prestigious award in the hospitality industry, and considered it a testament to the excellence of Makarem Hotels’ services. He also stressed that this award plays a great role in enhancing Makarem Hotels’ reputation and establishing its distinctive position as one of the best hotel brands in Saudi Arabia. Ahdab added: “We, at Makarem Hotels, are committed to serving the guests of the Holy cities, as well as, enriching the hospitality sector in the Kingdom. The investment opportunities are growing, as the demand for hotels is increasing, to keep pace with the expected increase in the number of Umrah pilgrims from 8 million to 30 million in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.” He also mentioned the need to proceed with the implementation of the expansion strategy of Makarem Hotels, which aimed at increasing the number of rooms to more than 5,000 rooms by 2023. The Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Award 2018 is an extension of Makarem Hotels’ successes and achievements. In 2017, Makarem Hotels received three awards from the World Travel Awards, most notably the Leading Hotel Group in Saudi Arabia award and Saudi Arabia’s Leading Resort award for Makarem Annakheel Village. The Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards 2018 is a prestigious international award in the field of tourism and hospitality. It aimed at honoring exceptional hotels and resorts in seven continents and over 60 countries around the world and highlighting resorts and hotels that offer visitors unique and unprecedented experiences. The award is an important criterion for the quality of services and the excellence of facilities in resorts and hotels. Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards adopts a rigorous classification process based on the guests’ opinions rather than the quantity of votes by a panel of judges or the general public. — SG

Makarem wins Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Award for 2018

RIYADH — Makarem Hotels, the Saudi hotel brand created by Dur Hospitality and specialized in providing spiritual hospitality services in KSA’s holy cities, won the Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Award for Saudi Arabia’s Leading Hotel Group for 2018 during a ceremony held recently in Dubai. Makarem Hotels won the Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Award for its world-class and authentic hospitality services. Hassan Ahdab, President of Hotel Operations at Dur Hospitality, expressed his pride in winning such a prestigious award in the hospitality industry, and considered it a testament to the excellence of Makarem Hotels’ services. He also stressed that this award plays a great role in enhancing Makarem Hotels’ reputation and establishing its distinctive position as one of the best hotel brands in Saudi Arabia. Ahdab added: “We, at Makarem Hotels, are committed to serving the guests of the Holy cities, as well as, enriching the hospitality sector in the Kingdom. The investment opportunities are growing, as the demand for hotels is increasing, to keep pace with the expected increase in the number of Umrah pilgrims from 8 million to 30 million in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.” He also mentioned the need to proceed with the implementation of the expansion strategy of Makarem Hotels, which aimed at increasing the number of rooms to more than 5,000 rooms by 2023. The Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Award 2018 is an extension of Makarem Hotels’ successes and achievements. In 2017, Makarem Hotels received three awards from the World Travel Awards, most notably the Leading Hotel Group in Saudi Arabia award and Saudi Arabia’s Leading Resort award for Makarem Annakheel Village. The Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards 2018 is a prestigious international award in the field of tourism and hospitality. It aimed at honoring exceptional hotels and resorts in seven continents and over 60 countries around the world and highlighting resorts and hotels that offer visitors unique and unprecedented experiences. The award is an important criterion for the quality of services and the excellence of facilities in resorts and hotels. Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards adopts a rigorous classification process based on the guests’ opinions rather than the quantity of votes by a panel of judges or the general public. — SG

Pakistan to be included in Makkah Road initiative for Haj pilgrims

Saudi Gazette JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia and Pakistan on Sunday signed the bilateral Haj agreement for the year 2019. Minister of Haj and Umrah Mohammed Saleh Benten and visiting Pakistan Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri signed the agreement at the minister’s office in Makkah. Deputy Minister of Haj and Umrah Dr. Abdulfattah Bin Sulaiman Mashat, Secretary for Haj Affairs Hussain Sherif and other senior officials from the Saudi side while Religious Affairs Secretary Muhammed Mushtaq Ahmad and Director General of Haj Dr. Sajid Yousfani from the Pakistani side attended the discussions held prior to the signing of the agreement. As part of the Kingdom’s initiative to sign annual bilateral Haj agreements with Islamic countries, the Haj minister received the Pakistani delegation, according to a statement issued by the ministry. Besides, Pakistan the minister also received the delegation from Jordan, headed by Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Minister Abdul Nasser Abul Bassal. The visiting ministers commended the Haj arrangements made by Saudi Arabia and hailed the services being offered by Kingdom to pilgrims, the statement added. The Pakistani minister said the effective usage of technology has significantly eased the performance of the Haj ritual. The Haj quota for Pakistan for the year 2019 will be 184,210, which is an increase of 5,000, compared with last year’s 179,210. Pakistan is set to implement E-Haj visa program from the next season. Pakistan will be included in the Makkah Road scheme to implement Proof of Concept (POC) system for pre-clearance at the Karachi airport, said a senior Pakistan official. The POC system enables immigration checks in home countries at the time of departure, instead of upon arrival in the Kingdom. The scheme known as the Makkah Road significantly reduces the waiting time for pilgrims at the Saudi airports upon arrival. The official said 35,000 pilgrims from the Sindh province would be covered in the first phase of the scheme, which will be expanded to other parts of the country subsequently, the official said.

A vital waterway: Why the Red Sea matters to Saudi Arabia

3 / 11 4 / 11 5 / 11 6 / 11 7 / 11 8 / 11 9 / 11 10 / 11 11 / 11 Next Updated 14 December 2018 RAWAN RADWAN DEEMA AL-KHUDAIR December 14, 201802:29 3556 JEDDAH: The Red Sea Project is an ultra-luxury destination that brings together a beautiful landscape, adventure and cultural heritage. The project’s plan is to position the Kingdom on the global tourism map, create investment opportunities for the local private sector and develop the Kingdom’s tourism industry while preserving the nation’s cultural and environmental heritage. In July of 2017, the Red Sea project was launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, PIF deputy chairman. The luxury and sustainable international tourist destination on the west coast of the Kingdom is one of three major PIF projects. As part of the domestic investment strategy, PIF created three Saudi giga projects, one of which is the Red Sea Project. Located between the cities of Umluj and al-Wajh, the project covers an area of 34,000 sq km, about 500 km north of Jeddah and at the crossroads of the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa. A team from the Red Sea Development Company led by John Pagano, its CEO, delivered a visual presentation on the master plan of the Red Sea Project at AQRA Palace in Riyadh with a detailed brief about its economic and development objectives to become a global destination in the luxury tourism sector. Research published by Abu Dhabi-based ADCB this week highlighted the importance of developing Red Sea tourism for the non-oil economy in the Kingdom. “New mega projects to develop tourism have been announced this year, including the ulta-luxurious Amaala tourist resort on the Red Sea and the Wadi Al-Disah project, which will extend across several archaeological sites,” said ADCB in its “Saudi Arabia: Weather watching as the winds change” report. “These projects should help to diversify the tourism mix in the country.” “The PIF is expected to kick-start many of these projects as an anchor and seed investor with international and private sector partners likely to be sought once momentum builds.” “The destination will provide a unique sense of place for visitors and offer nature lovers, adventurer, cultural explorers and guests looking to escape and rejuvenate, a wide range of exclusive experiences, combining luxury, tranquility, adventure and beautiful landscapes,” said Pagano during the initiation of the project in 2017. The project’s progress report comes in after an agreement with six countries bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to establish an entity of cooperation. Representatives from Egypt, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Jordan gathered in Riyadh to discuss the initiative. “This new maritime alliance is coming at a critical time in the history of the relations between the Arabian Peninsula and all lands west of the Red Sea area including the Gulf of Aden,” said Dr. Theodore Karasik, senior advisor at Gulf State Analytics in Washington DC. “These straits, gulfs, and ports around the Red Sea region are now filled with an increasing number of bases from land to sea to protect maritime shipping but also to safeguard littoral coast lines. The geopolitical picture is beginning to show the growing importance of the Red Sea and surrounding environs in order to safeguard transit zones and that a regional grouping is necessary. “Coastal development projects that boost not only the Saudi economy but other regional countries as well are important to the development of the Red Sea. Red Sea tourism projects are increasing and it is important to guarantee the safety and security of these commercial, water-front zones in a changing security environment. Ultimately, NEOM is also at the center of this effort given its trans-border plans.” “Importantly, the creation of the maritime zone is to continue to build strong connections with the Horn of Africa states that guarantees a coordinating mechanism as ports and economic projects expand. A key point is helping land-locked Ethiopia further develop its links to blue waters. Only through such an organization can deconfliction issues be resolved as all countries in the region work more closely together.” The Red Sea Project destination will be developed around several geographical treasures: 200km of coastline; over 50 untouched, pristine islands with stunning coral reefs; historical sites; dormant volcanoes and nature reserves. The first phase of the project, scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2022, will include up to 3,000 hotel rooms, an airport to serve the destination, and yacht marinas, as well as residential properties and recreational facilities. By completion of all stages of the project, there will be 22 developed islands of more than 90 islands, and 70,000 jobs created. The project will play a significant role in driving economic diversification in Saudi Arabia by attracting nearly 1 million visitors every year, and achieving a contribution of SR22 billion to the Kingdom’s GDP. Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, an international affairs scholar based in Riyadh, said: “Among Saudi Arabia’s objectives is to combine all efforts and ensure joint efforts are made to secure navigation in the Red Sea, address threats that may affect its security and stability, and prevent other states, such as Iran, from using the terrorist groups in these countries. “The difference between Saudi Arabia and Iran is that Iran uses those terrorist militias against these countries and against the region’s security while Saudi Arabia does not use this scheme. The Kingdom aims to deal with states that have security and stability problems to make them realize the importance of security and stability in their countries, therefore motivating joint action in clearing the region of any threat that harms the security of the Red Sea. This way, all parties will benefit from future projects in which everyone is welcome to participate. “Thus, it is important that everyone partners in securing the Red Sea so that common goals are achieved quickly and efficiently, and then everyone can benefit from achieving these goals in investment and economic fields that serve all parties.”

Top 50 Restaurants in Makkah

Albaik , Hardee's , Al Tazaj , Saad Aldeen confictionary , Smash Burger Five Guys , Starbucks Al Deyafa Restaurant , Al Rehab Restaurant Al Shorfa, Feld D saji , KFC , Al Ruwad , Gurkan Sef Steakhouse , Burger King , Simit Sarayi, Al Bayt Restaurant , Afandim Restaurant, Faisalabad Restaurant , paradise restaurant, Strawberry & Cheese, Al-meraaj Restaurant, Restaurant Nishan , Retaj Al Bayt Restaurant, Zamzam Lobby Lounge , Shobak, Green Chilli South Asian Restaurant Pizza Hut, Spice Market , Tayyibah Restaurant , Al Atbaq Restaurant, Palace Restaurant Intake , Al Kawthar Lounge, White Shark Restaurant Ash, Khair Restaurant, Backstreet Burger, Red Cup, Burger Valley, Cafe' Cino, Durrat China, Ain Diab, Mama Jamila Cafe, Al Etlalah restaurant, Punjab Restaurant, Wandalus Cafe, Asia Restaurant Holy Sites In Makkah Masjid Haram Zam Zam Mina Cit of Tent Arafah Masjid Nabavi Safa and Marwa Jabal al Rahma(Alnoor) Jabal al Noor Arafa Jamrat Kaba Muzdalifah Cave Hira Islamic Museum

Top 13 Hotels in Makkah

Makkah Millennium Hotel , InterContinental Dar Al Tawhid Swissotel Makkah Movenpick Hotel & Residences Hajar Tower Makkah, Makkah Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel , Swissotel Al Maqam Makkah Le Meridien Towers Makkah, Anjum Hotel Makkah , Hilton Makkah Convention Hotel Pullman ZamZam Makkah Hilton Suites Makkah Raffles Makkah Palace

Saja AlMadinah Hotel marks first anniversary

SAJA Hotels & Resorts, the leading Saudi hotel and condominium management and operation company, has recently celebrated the first anniversary of its Saja AlMadinah Hotel in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, marking a successful year of astounding services provided to visitors to the holy city of Madinah. Strategically located in the Northern side of the central area of Madinah, the four-star hotel is just steps away from the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque in the city. Mohannad Bin Nabeel Khogeer, Chief Executive Officer of Saja Company, said “we are extremely proud to celebrate the first anniversary of Saja AlMadinah Hotel, the renowned national brand in Saudi Arabia. The past year demonstrated our success in providing visitors to Madinah with the best convenient accommodation in the city, making their Haj and Umrah trips an unforgettable experience.” “Our long standing experience in hospitality that exceeds 40 years was a game changer in creating our success during the first year of operations. We have set future expansion plans that include managing and operating other hotels in different cities, and utilize our expertise in providing management services for hotels for further plans. Our efforts in this regard are in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 that aims to increase the number of pilgrims and Umrah visitors,” he added. With its 544 rooms, an executive floor, relaxing lounge, gym and a dedicated restaurant serving delicious international cuisine options; Saja AlMadinah Hotel was able during the past year to welcome more than 350,000 Guests, achieve a record number of more than 110,000 room bookings, serve around 120,000 meals, receive guests from over 80 nationalities and obtain the Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification. Notably, Saja AlMadinah Hotel boasts high-quality integrated hospitality services to assist visitors perform their religious rituals in the holy city with ease and comfort. It also provides them with the convenience of being close to the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque in Madinah, in a hotel that enjoys a unique blend of luxurious economy and authenticity, which stands out among other four-star hotels. Saja AlMadinah’s professional multi-lingual and highly trained team helps break down the language barrier and meet the needs of visitors from around the world with high quality services.

Jail, fine for violators of Umrah regulations

Saudi Gazette report RIYADH — Citizens and expatriates who are found transporting, employing, sheltering or providing cover-up to any overstaying Umrah pilgrim will be imprisoned and fined, Director of Public Relations and Information Administration at the Directorate General of Passports (Jawazat) Brig. Gen. Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saad reiterated on Sunday. During the launch of the Passport Department’s annual awareness campaign on the Umrah season, Saad said that expatriates violating Umrah regulations will be deported after serving imprisonment and paying fines. The penalties are multiplied if the number of violators are more than one. The Umrah regulation awareness campaign will continue from Sunday (Dec. 2, 2018) to June 18, 2019. It aims to acquaint Umrah pilgrims coming from abroad with the Kingdom’s regulations, which do not allow them to overstay their visas. The Jawazat has completed its preparations to serve Umrah pilgrims and has readied offices at international entry points. Well-trained staff have been provided with sophisticated equipment to detect forged documents and fake photos on Umrah pilgrims’ official travel documents, Saad said. The Jawazat can be contacted either on unified call center number 992 or via email 992@gdp.gov.sa or through official accounts on social media @AljawazatKSA and the e-services account @EpassportGovSA

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