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Makkah News and Updates

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#16 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 12:53
With a cost more than 40 trillions and 20 million square meters space

SID Group proposed a development project for the holy places that accommodates 10 million pilgrims

Isolating pedestrian's movement from cars and trains.



8 June 2011 -

Saudi Ideas Development Group proposed the biggest model for a development project for the holy places in the 11th scientific forum or Hajj Research in Um Al Qurra University. Yousef Bin Awad AL Ahmadi, the president of Saudi Ideas Development Group, presented the idea and clarified to "Al Riyadh" that the idea of the project is to increase the area of Mina from 2 million square meters to 20 million square meters to accommodate around 10 million pilgrims in an average cost of 40 trillion Riyals, which is to create a building of 12 repeating levels with air-conditioned open halls with all the services and reachable by all transportations. The pilgrims can go and come back from Jamarat and their residence without leaving the floor, with the ground floor and the roof open to everyone.

Al Ahmadi added that the features of developing Arafat project is to double the designated space for pilgrims, cars and pedestrians in addition to solving the pollution problem and keeping the vehicles in the upper floor and depending on the trains and busses for transportation as well as isolating the pedestrians from the movements of vehicles and trains and adding green spaces and comfortable spaces for parking.
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#17 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 12:57


19 June 2011

JEDDAH: A three-day event dubbed "Future Makkah" to support the SR100 billion large-scale development projects in Makkah Region will start tomorrow (Sunday) at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events.

The Makkah International Urban & Infrastructure Development Event, which has been established to provide a dedicated business-to-business networking platform that supports public and private investment initiatives in the Makkah Region, will feature an exhibition, forum, and in-depth workshop.

Held under the patronage of Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Makkah Region, the forum will gather key stakeholders of ongoing development activities across the Makkah Region to share ideas, gain exclusive insights about upcoming government expenditure plans and carve out strategies to optimize the business potential of Makkah Development Plan. The high-profile conference will discuss opportunities and challenges in key areas such as hospitality and tourism development, modernization plans, utility requirements of the region, land development, financing prospects, demand for health services and equipment, and transport development.

The event's exhibition segment will host more than 5,000 local, regional and international investors, high net-worth individuals, government and municipality companies, construction, infrastructure and utility companies.

Future Makkah will also host an interactive post-conference workshop. "Structuring profitable and sustainable PPP projects within the Kingdom" which will enable delegates to harness the financial, intellectual and influential powers of the public and private sectors to sustain the country's long-term economic growth. Saudi Arabia has recently unveiled the Makkah Development Plan that will allocate over SR100 billion for projects encompassing the infrastructure, utilities, investment, financing, real estate and tourism sectors.

The Plan has created an overwhelming demand for large-scale projects across a wide range of industries, opening up major opportunities for local, regional and international developers, investors, financiers, contractors, architects, designers and infrastructure operators looking to expand their business interests in the Kingdom.Hussain Al Harithy from National Exhibitions Company, which is co-organizing the event along with IIR Middle East, said: "The Makkah Development Plan is transforming Makkah into one of the most exciting business destinations in the Middle East with large-scale projects worth over SR100 billion being undertaken. Investors, contractors, developers and other business organizations are now looking to capitalize on the government's ambitious spending plans, making Future Makkah the definitive venue to gain direct access to high-profile projects and strike lucrative business deals in the Makkah Region. The government's development strategy for the Makkah Region is expected to gain more momentum moving forward and Future Makkah will certainly be a critically important vehicle to gain strategic insight and have a better understanding of the unique demands and emerging opportunities within the region's business and investment landscape."

Sheikh Abdul Rahman A. Fakieh, Chairman of the Board, Jabal Omar Development Co., one of the platinum sponsors of the event, said: "We are now pursuing development projects that consist of 6-star, 5-star, 4-star and 3-star hotels, residential villas, and multi-story commercial facilities that will cater to the increasing number of pilgrims and Umrah performers coming to Makkah. We are therefore pleased to serve as sponsors of Future Makkah, which reaffirms the company's support to the Makkah Development Plan and underlines our commitment to help sustain the economic upswing of the country."

Other platinum sponsors are Dyafat Albalad Alameen and Elaf Group, with AECOM as silver sponsor.

Future Makkah, which will conclude on June 21, is open from 11 A.M. to 9 P.M. daily.

www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...20110618103235
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#18 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 12:58
Ban on Zamzam sales in plastic cans

23 May 2011

MADINA: The sale of Zamzam water in plastic jerry cans has been banned by Abdullah Zainal, Minister of Commerce and Industry. The minister has also formed a committee to inspect areas frequented by vendors and ordered the confiscation of such containers.

The directives exempt water produced by the King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Project Factory for Zamzam Water. The minister took the decision after security authorities in Madina uncovered a factory forging the official packaging. The factory was run by infiltrators and violators of residency and labor regulations, officials said.

A tour by Okaz/Saudi Gazette reporters on Saturday afternoon in the Central Area, the courtyards of the Prophet's Mosque and the expressways, uncovered sellers of large quantities of Zamzam jerry cans. Officials said these containers will be confiscated.

The cans were displayed openly, under the hot sun, which can cause the plastic to deteriorate and result in health problems for consumers.
Muhammad Zuhoor, a Pakistani vendor, said his sponsor travels to Makkah every three days to fetch Zamzam water. He said they sell the 10-liter jerry can for SR10 while they sell cans issued by the factory for SR20.

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#19 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 12:59
Dates for Hajj 2011

6 June 2011

First day of arrival in the Kingdom for pilgrims is 1/11/1432 H (29th September, 2011).

Last date for arrival of pilgrims in the Kingdom by air, at the King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, or at the Prince Muhammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport, Madinah is 4/12/1432 H (31st October, 2011).

Last date for pilgrims to travel from Jeddah to Madinah by bus is 25/11/1432 H (23rd October, 2011)

Last date for pilgrims to travel from Jeddah to Madinah by air is 2/12/1432 H (29th October, 2011).

Last date for pilgrims to travel from Madinah to Makkah by bus (before Hajj) is 5/12/1432 H (1st November, 2011)

Last date for pilgrims to travel from Madinah to Jeddah by air (before Hajj) is 6/12/1432 H (2nd November, 2011).

Final date for departure (return trip) is 15/1/1433 H (10th December, 2011)

www.hajinformation.com/display_news.php?id=2474
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#20 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 13:00
Makkah to be first Saudi city with public train system

12 June 2011

MAKKAH: The regional Mayor's Office has declared that Makkah will be the first Saudi city to have its own public transport train system after the Holy Sites Train is fully operational in this year's Haj season.

The first phase of the project's inner city network has an estimated cost of SR8 billion.

According to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat Arabic daily, Makkah Mayor Osama Al-Bar said the Haramain Train will come into service in the Hijri year of 1433, which begins at the end of November this year, and that the demand will be "great" for the high-speed inner city network to link up with the Haramain Train and the Holy Sites Train.

"The first phase of construction for the internal network involves linking up the Holy Sites Train with the Haramain Train going via the Grand Mosque, and connecting up the north and east sides at the Central Zone with a 12-kilometer track," Al-Bar said in a press statement. "Once the project has been approved it will be completed within no more than two and a half years."

The mayor said the works would entail the removal of many properties to make way for the track, and that SR2 billion has been allocated for removal and compensation of real estate owners affected by the plans.

"Four stations will be built for the trains inside Makkah in addition to the stations for the Holy Sites and Haramain trains," he said.

www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...20110612102847
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#21 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 14:17
Elaborate arrangements in place at Haram for Ramadan

28 July 2011

Makkah: With the holy month of Ramadan just around the corner, the local authorities in Makkah and Madinah have completed all their elaborate arrangements and preparations to handle the huge influx of Umrah pilgrims and visitors to the holy mosques.

The Ministry of Haj has issued a record number of more than five million Umrah visas this year. A total of about 5.5 million pilgrims from more than 140 countries are expected to arrive in the holy city of Makkah during Ramadan, which marks the climax of the annual Umrah season. A large number of pilgrims are eager to spend the last ten days of the holy month, expecting Lailatul Qadr (the Night of Power), in the vicinity of Islam's holiest shrine.

Meanwhile, The Supreme Judiciary Council has called on all Muslims in the Kingdom to look out for the Ramadan crescent on Saturday evening (Shaaban 29, corresponding to July 30). In an announcement issued on Wednesday, the Council urged those who see the crescent of the blessed month to report to the nearest court and register their testimonies, or report to the regional governorate if there is no judge in the area.

Speaking to Gulf News, Minister of Haj Dr. Fuad Al Farsi said that the ministry's Umrah Plan for the current year is going on smoothly in accordance with the scheduled plans and programs. "The arrival and departure of the pilgrims are strictly in line with the plan. The advanced means of technology and transportation coupled with meticulous planning have made the operation a great success," he said.

Dr. Al Farsi noted that there are 250,000 Umrah pilgrims at present in the holy cities. They are part of the 1.1 million Umrah visas issued for the current season, he said. "It is expected that the influx of the pilgrims would gain momentum with the upcoming Ramadan and the total number of pilgrims during the year would reach to over five million," he said.

The minister said that all the Umrah service providing companies and establishments have completed their preparations to receive the pilgrims and extend them the best possible services during the holy month. "I have conducted a number of inspection tours to verify this, the last of which was held on Tuesday to the office of the motor syndicate. "There would be an increase of 700 buses to transport Haj pilgrims during the current year comparing with last year, and by this the fleet of buses for Haj operation would reach 19700. These buses would also be used for transportation of the Umrah pilgrims during the current season," he said adding that this figure not included the fleet of buses operated by a number of other private companies.

Referring to the measures to ease traffic congestion during the holy month, Dr. Al Farsi said that the Traffic Department in Makkah has geared up to implement its plan to ease traffic jams and facilitate smooth movement of pilgrims. "A total of 3800 officers and members of traffic police have been mobilized to make the traffic plan a great success," he said. The department has started implementing from Wednesday its Ramadan Traffic Plan to deal with millions of visitors to the holy city.

Meanwhile, Major General Jazaa Al-Amri, director of police in Makkah, said that a total of 10000 policemen have been deployed to implement the Ramadan Plan in the best possible manner. He warned that there would not be any leniency in the case of those who try to cause troubles and difficulties to the Umrah pilgrims and visitors to the holy city. "There will be secret squads to catch pickpockets and those who cheat pilgrims by circulating counterfeit currencies. Cameras have been set up within and outside the Haram Mosque to monitor the situation," he said adding that there has been an increase of beggars who were arrested from the Haram premises.
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#22 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 14:21
Which city has the most expensive real estate in the world?

Makkah

english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/07/28/159691.html

By SARAH SFEIR
Al Arabiya - 28 July 2011

Mecca has proved that it is an exceptional case in the suffering real estate market in the Middle East, thanks to the increasing numbers of persons interested in the rituals of Hajj and Umrah in the city, causing a boom in hotel construction.

Real estate experts say that the price of a square meter in the commercial area around the holy city, can be up to 375 thousand riyals ($100,000), making it one of the most expensive - if not THE most expensive - city in the world.

A report published in the Saudi newspaper "Al-Yawm" stated that more than 2.5 million pilgrims go to Mecca each year to perform Hajj rituals. Luxurious hotels, residential tall buildings and commercial skyscrapers are casting their shadows on the Grand Mosque.

Shoujaa Zaidi, Vice President of Project Management and General Manager of Makkah Hilton Hotel and Towers, says: "Mecca is now at its peak."

A "forest" of tall buildings has emerged next to the holy mosque, built by the Jabal Omar Development Company; it cost more than $5.5 billion dollars. Hilton will soon open its doors there, along with 26 other new hotels, adding 13 thousand additional rooms to the city.

Mr. Zaidi said: "There is no doubt that these hotels will be fully booked... the growth of the entire Muslim population justifies the expansion."

Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) says that the investment of the government and real estate development companies in Mecca and Medina, is estimated to reach $120 billion dollars over the next decade. In Mecca alone, projects worth $20 billion are currently under construction.

Marriott International and Hyatt International declared their intention to manage and operate the hotels built by Jabal Omar Company.

All this is expected to increase the capacity of receiving Mecca pilgrims by at least 50 percent, over the next 10 years.

An expert in Mecca and Medina issues, Sami Ankawi, residing in Jeddah, says: "Both Mecca and Medina are almost perfect historically. You cannot roam in the central area and only find skyscrapers."

The Mecca Clock Royal Tower overlooks the city; it is the largest of its kind in the world, a towering hotel facing the "Kaaba."

Traditionally, Mecca provided the visitors with accommodation consisting of small rooms with basic facilities for ritual ablution and comfort, without any other service. Visitors were considered as temporary residents for short periods and some even stayed in private homes in Mecca in exchange for a modest fee.

Nonetheless, all this changed over the past few years when international and regional hotel operators arose in Mecca.
The famous luxury hotels started to provide 24-hour service for tourists and pilgrims.

Dubai-based companies "Emaar" and "Damac" as well as "Arabtec" and "Drake & Scull" are keen to enter the Saudi market.

These companies, as well as competitors from Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt have perceived that the success in Mecca would help them enter the large Saudi market, which experiences a severe shortage of housing due to the Kingdom's population growth. Saudi Arabia currently has a population of 29 million.

Zeina al-Tabari, Executive Director of "Drake & Scull" said: "The majority of our in-progress contracts, representing about 50 percent are estimated to reach AED7.5 billion ($2 billion) in Saudi Arabia."

She added: "We bid on many projects in Jabal Omar and around Mecca. We expect a huge rise in Saudi Arabia."
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#23 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 14:25
Saudi Arabia ditches Mecca airport plans


Thursday, 23 June 2011

By EMAN EL-SHENAWI
AL ARABIYA WITH AGENCIES
Plans for an airport in Saudi Arabia's Muslim pilgrimage city, Mecca, have been crushed as the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) rejected proposals for the project this week.

The proposed airport was rejected because of the distance that airports are required to be from the city center.

Mecca has become one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities in the Muslim world, with more than 13 million Muslims visiting Mecca annually mostly for the Hajj pilgrimage.

Other difficulties towards having an airport in the city were the mountainous geography of the area and the close proximity of Mecca to Jeddah, the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia on the coast of the Red Sea.

Prince Khaled Al Faisal, Governor of the Makkah province, said that plans to build an airport were scrapped and the current travel bases are sufficient enough.

"King Abdulaziz International Airport and Jeddah Islamic Port serve Mecca by air and sea. So there is no need for a new airport in Mecca," Prince Faisal said in a statement to the media.

(Eman El-Shenawi, a writer at Al Arabiya English
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#24 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 14:32
Grand Mosque to have 48 new spray coolers

10 May 2011

MAKKAH: With the onset of summer which last year saw temperatures in Makkah rising to as high as 50 degrees Centigrade, the Grand Mosque in Makkah is to have installed new cooling systems to ease the woes of worshippers.

The General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques has announced that it is to install 48 new cooling spray ventilator fans at six locations in the mosque which will come into operation automatically when temperatures reach 30 degrees.

The General Presidency said in a statement that its President General, Sheikh Salih Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Hussayyen, had ordered a study to look into improving temperature and ventilation conditions at prayer times, and the conclusions recommended fans fitted with water pipes functioning on their own pumping systems.

Each of the six locations identified are provided with eight high-capacity fans covering their vicinities. "The system will operate for half an hour before prayer times and for half an hour when temperatures reach 30 degrees Centigrade," Al-Hussayyen said. "During the seasons (Ramadan and Haj) they will be on automatic, operating 24 hours a day, pausing for two minutes every eight minutes during long periods of operation."

The General Presidency said that the system is under trial, and if deemed a success will be extended to other courtyard areas.

www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...20110510100355
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#25 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 14:37
Fake Zamzam water sale thriving along highways

By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA | ARAB NEWS

Published: May 9, 2011 00:42 Updated: May 9, 2011 00:42

MAKKAH: A large number of illegal foreigners and some Saudi citizens have made selling fake Zamzam water a lucrative profession. They mix the holy water with ordinary water and sell the mixture as pure Zamzam water.

The fake water may have adverse health effects that can be perilous for the users. The sellers of fake Zamzam water are spreading along the highways, around the exits and entries of Makkah, and near the holy mosques. They continue their illegal trade without heeding the concerned authorities that are always after them.

Arab News made a tour of the places where fake Zamzam water is put for sale. The tour started at the central area of the Haram in Al-Ghazzah area, where many people from the African communities practice this illegal profession. They buy new empty gallons in various colors, put a small quantity of Zamzam water in them and fill the rest with plain water. They do the mixing of water in far away places and then bring their products to Al-Ghazzah area with its concentration of pilgrims and visitors. Their selling operation continues 24 hours a day, but they run away and hide whenever a security team is spotted.

In Kudai area, which has a pumping station for Zamzam water, a number of Africans, Burmese and Bangladeshis fill their gallons with Zamzam water. They empty part of the gallons in other containers, fill them with ordinary water, and sell the mixture to the salesmen around the Jeddah-Makkah Expressway. Evidently, they do this illegal job away from the eyes of the passport police.

Along the expressway, particularly near the gas stations around Makkah exits, are some groups of people selling their fake water round the clock. They put their gallons on small trucks parked there, after covering them with cloth. They leave for their homes at night and return next day to continue their job. The Zamzam water may be exposed to direct sun rays and to dust, making the fake holy water unhygienic.

Sellers of the fake Zamzam water may make more than SR400 a day, going up to SR600 during weekends and school summer vacation. A large gallon of the mixed water is sold at SR15, the medium at SR10, and the small at SR5. They buy the Zamzam water from the pumping station at SR2 a gallon.

Consultants and doctors specialized in chest diseases warn against the risk of such water, which may cause various diseases including diarrhea and typhoid. They advise all interested purchasers to buy directly from the filling factory.

arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article388908.ece
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#26 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 14:39
Kingdom rejects BBC claim of Zamzam water contamination

By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA | ARAB NEWS

Published: May 7, 2011 23:34 Updated: May 7, 2011 23:35

JEDDAH: Saudi authorities have refuted a BBC report claiming that the Zamzam well in Makkah is polluted and that drinking the holy water could cause diseases such as cancer.

Zuhair Nawab, president of Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), denied the allegation and said his organization has taken adequate measures to ensure the safety of Zamzam well and its water.

The BBC said it had asked a pilgrim to take samples from the Zamzam water taps in Makkah and the Zamzam water being sold in bottles to compare them with the water on sale illegally.

"These showed high levels of nitrate and potentially harmful bacteria, and traces of arsenic three times the permitted level, just like the illegal water, which was purchased in the UK," the BBC said, referring to contaminated holy water sold in some UK shops.

Nawab said his organization has been responsible for monitoring the quality of Zamzam water, which not only concerns Saudi Arabia but the whole Islamic world. "Our experts monitor the condition of Zamzam on a daily basis. Every day we take three samples from the water to carry out tests and studies, which showed that it was not contaminated," he explained. He said the newly established King Abdullah Zamzam Water Distribution Center in Makkah is equipped with advanced facilities and where bottling takes place in accordance with international standards.

"We apply modern methods for filling bottles after sterilization," Nawab said.

He said the contamination of the water could have caused while redistributing the water in small bottles by individuals.

Fahd Turkistani, adviser to the Presidency for Meteorology and Environment, said the BBC report focused on bottled water supplied by individuals and not by the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs. The water supplied by the presidency undergoes close monitoring and ultraviolet rays are applied to kill harmful bacteria, he added.

Turkistani said the Zamzam water contamination could have caused by illegal workers who sell Zamzam water at Makkah gates as they use unsterilized containers. He said the Saudi government has prohibited such illegal sales of Zamzam water.

Meanwhile, a responsible source at the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs highlighted the measures taken for the protection of Zamzam water saying the water passes through stainless steel pipes to the cooling stations and then to the Grand Mosque.

He said the presidency has given utmost importance for the preservation and distribution of Zamzam water, adding that it is closely monitored around the clock.

According to the World Health Organization, the permitted arsenic rate in natural water is up to 10 microgram per liter. If the rate goes up then the water could be harmful to the kidney and liver and cause cancer. The rate of arsenic in Zamzam water is much less than the amount permitted by the WHO.

Talal Mahjoub, a Saudi, denounced the move to create suspicion about the quality of Zamzam water.

"My family and I have been drinking Zamzam for many years. None of us have suffered any disease as a result of drinking it. If the BBC report was true, Makkans would have suffered many diseases, including cancer, because most of them drink Zamzam."

The Saudi Embassy in London also issued a statement affirming the purity of Zamzam in Makkah.

"Scientific tests conducted on samples taken from the original source have proved the Zamzam water is good for drinking," it said, referring to tests conducted on the water at a French laboratory. It said the Kingdom does not export Zamzam water. The King Abdullah Zamzam water complex, which was established in Makkah last September at a cost of SR700 million, can supply 200,000 bottles daily.

arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article386684.ece
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#27 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 14:42
Another false ''Mahdi'' arrested

20 April 2011

MADINA: An Egyptian has been arrested in Madina after claiming to be the Mahdi, the second such incident in barely a week after a man of the same nationality made identical claims in the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

The man in Madina, also said to be in his thirties, was reported to police by members of the public and arrested at a hotel, which he used as a base from where he attempted to gain followers. He reportedly described as "infidels" persons who rejected his claims.

Police held the man for questioning at Al-Markaziya Station before he was handed over to the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution.

Police sources told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that initial investigations suggested the man was "mentally disturbed".

Saudi Gazette reported on April 12 the detention of another Egyptian who snatched the microphone in the Grand Mosque in Makkah and declared he was the Mahdi, the prophesied redeemer of Islam expected to appear ahead of the Day of Resurrection. Security officers at the mosque quickly arrested the man.

www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...ate=20/04/2011
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#28 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 14:42
''The awaited Mahdi'' set for deportation

21 April 2011

JEDDAH: Criminal charges against the man who declared himself "The awaited Mahdi" last week have been dropped and he will now be deported. This comes after he was diagnosed with a mental illness by a committee at the Mental Hospital in Taif.

The medical report received by the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution (BIP) in Makkah region said that the Umrah pilgrim suffers from a psychiatric disorder which had resulted in his misconduct.

The BIP decided to exempt him from criminal responsibility. He will be deported to his country for further psychiatric treatment.

The Arab national had claimed last week that he was "The awaited Mahdi" on the microphone he had snatched from before Sheikh Abdullah Bin Awwad Al-Johani, Imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah during afternoon (Asr) prayer. The man was immediately arrested.

He was referred to the BIP, which in turn wanted a medical report on his mental condition from the hospital in Taif.

www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...=2011042198822
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#29 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 14:45
15 trains operational during Haj season

15 trains operational during Haj season

25 April 2011

JEDDAH: The head of the Holy Sites Train has said that 15 trains will be operational in the next Haj season and after it ends trains will transport Umrah pilgrims to the Grand Mosque throughout the year from new stops on the Taif Road.

According to Director General of the Holy Sites Train Project Fahd Abu Tarboush, it will also provide transport for residents of the Al-Awali District and neighboring areas.

"This will be a major step in reducing traffic congestion in the vicinity of the Grand Mosque," Abu Tarboush said. "Transport will be by train from the stops to the Jamarat Station and from there to the Grand Mosque by bus, then back to the station, until the final phase of works is done to connect the Grand Mosque to the Haramain Station." He said that the plans for the train entailed three lines: a south line, a central line, and a northern line.

"We've begun work on the south line which serves pilgrims coming over land by car, pilgrims from GCC countries and domestic pilgrims," Abu Tarboush said. "The line will be tested and if proved successful work will begin on the other lines." He said that for the Haj this year, the train would have a passenger capacity of 72,000 per hour. "That will mean we can dispense with 10,000 buses which will bring a significant improvement to traffic flow," he said. "15 12-carriage trains will each transport 3,000 pilgrims at a time in the Haj season."

The Chinese company running the trains has a three-year contract, he noted, after which all operations and maintenance work are scheduled to pass over to Saudi staff.

"We will see the Holy Sites Train being operated by Saudi hands in 1433 (beginning end of Nov. 2011 approx)," Abu Tarboush said. "In the last Haj, the train was operating at 35 percent of its capacity. The next Haj season will see it transporting half a million Haj pilgrims from Arafat to Muzdalifa before midnight."

www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...=2011042499029

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#30 [Permalink] Posted on 29th July 2011 14:52
Pen Luxury: Limited Edition Visconti Mecca

April 4, 2011

The Italian brand is launching two new Visconti pens exceptional tribute to Islam: Mecca (Makkah) and Medina (Medina)

MECCA & MEDINA Collection MYSTIC PEN

The Italian brand of luxury pen Visconti, anxious to highlight the significant and symbolic aspects of our world, dedicated his collection MYSTIC PENS all existing religions. After the limited edition Christian Bible and Jewish Bible, Mecca and Medina Visconti offers.

Islam is one of the major world religions, Visconti wanted to honor two creations by referring to symbols of cities, Mecca and Medina, place of birth and death of Muhammad.

MECCA

Mecca (Makkah) is a pen directly inspired by the Kaaba, religious building that symbolizes the unity of believers and that is the place to which Muslims bow in prayer.

Mecca is shot in a glossy black resin. Cuboid shape (including corners have been rounded for ease of writing) recalls the architecture of the Ka'aba.

The different faces of the body and cap of the pen is adorned with Quranic verses in Arabic letters that give the pen its elegance. These inscriptions refer directly to the Kiswa, precious black cloth embroidered with gold, which covers the Kaaba.

The ring of the pen she recalls about the bricks that appear when you lift the Kiswa.

Finally, the clip of the pen that offers a system to balance specific Visconti, evokes the black stone embedded in a silver frame on the corner of the Ka'aba.

The limited edition includes 622 pieces Mecca. This number recalls the year 622 in which the Hegira took place, an event that saw the first companions of Muhammad from Mecca to the oasis of Yathrib, the ancient name of Medina.

Specifications:
622 sterling silver fountain pens (2500 euro)
62 fountain pens in 18K rose gold (16 000 euro)
Material: resin black
Pen: 23 carat palladium
Filling system: power filler
Finely perforated box

Model Mecca Visconti

MEDINA

The body of the Medina model shot in a bar of ivory resin and its hood reminiscent of the famous green dome of the Mosque of Medina. The central motif of the pen, made by investment casting lost wax, represents the gates of the blessed room where the body of the prophet. The cap is decorated with a large ring, which also includes this ground.

The clip of the pen evokes the many columns that are present inside the mosque of Medina.

The limited edition includes 622 pieces Medina. This number recalls the year 622, the year of the Hegira.

Specifications:
622 fountain pen attributes vermeil (2500 euro)
62 fountain pens in 18K rose gold (19 000 euro)
Material: Resin ivory and green
Pen: 23 carat palladium
Filling system: power filler
Finely perforated box


Model Medina Visconti


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