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Makkah News and Updates

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#616 [Permalink] Posted on 20th February 2012 09:35
SR100m Quba Mosque revamp plan approved



 


20 February 2012

MADINA — The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Dawah and Guidance is planning to revamp the historic Quba Mosque in the Prophet’s City at a total cost of SR100 million.

The foundation of Quba, the first mosque ever built, was laid by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) upon his arrival in Madina from Makkah.
The mosque was completed in 622 C.E.

Dr. Muhammad Al-Ameen Bin Khateri, Director of the ministry’s Madina branch, said final details are being worked out by the Madina Mayoralty and the Madina Development Commission. “The project has been approved by the ministry in Riyadh and the study will be completed soon.”

Dr. Tawfiq Al-Sudairi, Undersecretary for Mosque Affairs, at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, was quoted by Asharq Alawsat as saying that the Quba Mosque project is the responsibility of the ministry’s Madina branch.

Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Majed Bin Abdul Aziz, Emir of Madina region and Chairman of the Madina Development Commission, announced the commission’s approval last month to develop the Quba and Miqat areas, and the King Abdul Aziz Center near the Central Area.

The project, Prince Abdul Aziz said, will be based on a study conducted by the commission which aims to highlight the urban identity of Madina.

The study focuses on expanding Quba Mosque by building courtyards and parking lots covered with canopies. A total of SR30 million has been allocated for the construction of gates at the entrance, which will fit in with its traditional and cultural character.

Asharq Alawsat quoted Bin Khateri as saying that the ministry started last Tuesday to expand and restore Al-Shohada Mosque in Madina.

The 8,000 sq. meter project will be completed in 24 months.

The total cost of mosque renovation projects is SR616.9 million, of which SR82.7 million has been allocated in this year’s budget. Bin Khateri said the ministry’s projects include providing maintenance and cleaning services for these mosques.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...20120220117934

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#617 [Permalink] Posted on 21st February 2012 11:35

Fire in Makkah

حريق البرج المجاور للحرم المكي كان بسبب “مدخنة مطعم” وتمت السيطرة عليه خلال دقائق

Fire tower adjacent to the campus was in Mecca because of
the "chimney restaurant" and was brought under control within minutes

Youtube Video


 

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#618 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd February 2012 18:57
Third Phase of Makkah Project

Govt to pay SR130b for expropriation of real estate in Makkah
 


19 February 2012

JEDDAH – The Saudi government will pay SR120 billion ($32 billion) to SR130 billion in compensations for the expropriation of real estate in Makkah over the next two years as part of the implementation of mega development projects in the Grand Mosque and the adjoining areas, Saudi Arabic Al Eqtisadiah daily reported Saturday, citing an official.

The projects include the construction of roads and train stations on the periphery of the Grand Mosque from many sides and at distances from the Mosque ranging from 350 to 500 meters, Yusuf Al-Ahmadi, member of the Committee for Estimation of Property Values in Makkah, told the paper.

The Makkah municipality said that it started demolishing some 1,900 buildings Friday as part of the third phase of a project aiming to develop the northern courtyards of the Grand Mosque, the daily said.

Engineer Muhammad Taha Faqih, Assistant Coordinator for the Committee for the Development of the Northern Courtyards, said the demolitions are located within the properties coming in the way of the electricity transformer plant belonging to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Expansion Project for the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the surrounding courtyards.

He said the expansion would be used in completing the first ring road extending from Ajyad, via Jabal Al-Ka’bah and Ree’ Al-Rassam up to Al-Ghazza Area, Al-Eqtisadia reported.

The demolition work was attended by representatives of the Northern Courtyards Committee, the police, services authorities, telecommunications companies and the consultant office for the project.

Real estate officials in Makkah said the first and second stage of the demolition work, which started in 2009, have affected 2,350 buildings.

Meanwhile, Dr. Osama Al-Bar, Mayor of Makkah, said the scope of the project includes the northern courtyards of the Grand Mosque, beginning with Al-Masjid Al-Haram Street, Al-Ghazza in the east until Jabal Al-Ka’bah Street in the west with a distance of 660 meters from the Holy Ka’bah. This will be in two stages – first, the 100 meters adjacent to the courtyards, before starting the third stage, which started Friday.

Officials concerned said the project work will include the construction of three stations for small cars and buses adjacent to the first ring road. They are big stations and will be benefited from now as stations for buses and small cars until the internal train project is completed in Makkah.

There will be train stations as well. They said that among these is a station opposite Halaqat Jarwal Tunnel and another behind the King Abdulaziz Endowment, a third near the new tunnel at Harat Al-Bab and an additional station in Al-Ghazza Area.

Al-Ahmadi said the amounts would be injected in mega development projects including roads and train stations, which will be available in the surroundings of the Grand Mosque in several directions.

“The project is of great national and Islamic importance in order to increase the courtyards surrounding the Grand Mosque and reduce the pressure within the Grand Mosque and its other courtyards as well as contributing to streamlining traffic and pedestrian flow to and from the Grand Mosque,” he added.

The projects being witnessed by Makkah will create a flurry of economic activity capable of creating a new kind of mega projects that are able to activate the development plans, he further said.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...ate=19/02/2012

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#619 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd February 2012 19:04

Can you imagine the new Google maps image


  

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#620 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd February 2012 19:07
Pakistan

Khurshid Shah, Saudi Minister sign Hajj agreement 2012



22 February 2012

JEDDAH: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah signed Hajj Agreement 2012 with Minister for Hajj Saudi Arabia Dr. Bandar bin Mohammad al-Hajjar.

The agreement was signed here Wednesday at the Ministry of Hajj office.

The Minister was accompanied by senior Pakistani functionaries including Shaukat Hayat Durrani, Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs, Salik Khan, Consul General of Pakistan at Jeddah, Syed Abu Ahmad Akif, Director General Hajj, Sohail Ali Khan Consul, Syed Rafeo Bashir Shah, Director Pakistan Hajj Mission and Bahrullah Hazarvi, Director in the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Earlier, Syed Khursheed Shah held a meeting with Saudi Minister for Hajj Dr. Bandar bin Mohammad al-Hajjar and presented a letter from Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani to Saudi Minister.

The Prime Minister in his letter has expressed gratitude to the immense services of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and the Crown Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz and Haj Ministry Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the numerous steps being taken for the constant improvements and upgrading the Umra and Hajj experiences of pilgrims from all over the world.

Some important features of Hajj Agreement this year include:

The number of Pakistani Hajj quota is expected to be increased by 10,000 pilgrims this year.

All Pakistani Pilgrims would use Electric Rail services during Hajj 1433 instead of buses for transport during the actual Hajj days (from Mina - Arafat -Mina).

A strong contingent of 1890 Pakistan Khuddam ul Hujjaj and Medical Mission, will arrive from Pakistan to serve the Pak Hajj Pilgrims.

Around 30,000 Pilgrims will arrive in Madina Munawwarah, directly from Pakistan.

1st Hajj flight to reach Saudi Arabia on 1st of Dhul Qada 1433 (September 17, 2012). Last Hajj Flight will reach Saudi Arabia on 4th Dhul Hijjah 1433H, (October 20, 2012).

Post Hajj Flight operations will begin with the departure of 1st Hajj flight from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan on 14th Dhul Hijjah 1433 (October 30, 2012).

Hajj visas would be issued to pilgrims holding digital international Passports only (MRP).

For the first time, the pilgrims will be allowed to carry specially prepared Zamzam cans packed and supplied by Khadim ul Haramain Project for supply of zamzam water.

All those Airlines having licenses to operate inside Saudia Arabia and have offices in Saudi Arabia, including Makkah and Madina, and approved by Saudi Arabian Civil Aviation Authority would be liable to transport Pakistani hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

www.brecorder.com/top-news/10...ent-2012-.html
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#621 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd February 2012 19:18

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#622 [Permalink] Posted on 23rd February 2012 21:30
The man who lives in seclusion at Islam’s holiest shrine
 
Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pilgrims who often visit the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest shrine, will quickly notice a familiar face among the hundreds of government workers there. The Saudi man is always there and has never left the Mosque for nine years.

Thallab Al Moulad, 52, decided to get away from people and live a recluse life inside the Grand Mosque in the western Saudi town of Makkah for the rest of his life after losing his farm in which he invested his life savings.

He says he was about to reap his harvest at his new land when he woke up one morning to the rumbling of government bulldozers that razed his farm on the grounds he had no proof of ownership.

The bearded Saudi man now spends most of his time praying although the trauma of losing his farm is still noticeable on his dark face. He earns his living through tips given to him by handicapped pilgrims in return for pushing their wheel chairs through the massive mosque and other services.

“I want to spend the rest of my life here after losing all my savings…I paid more than SR20,000 ($5,400) to lease the farm from its owner….I spent much time in planting the land and was about to reap the harvest when I woke up one morning and found government bulldozers razing the farm,” he said.

“I could not stop them and I did not go to court…they told me that I have rented the farm from someone who does not have ownership documents.”

Quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily Alwatan, Moulad said he no longer thinks of money and that he gets tips from pilgrims only to feed himself.

“I have become contented all these years inside the Grand Mosque…I no longer think of achieving any ambitions… I just want to live here for the rest of my life and I am sure that God the Almighty will reward me.”

http link removed due un islamic ads


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#623 [Permalink] Posted on 23rd February 2012 21:34
Mecca, Medina photographs to be exhibited in Istanbul

The same exhibition will later be opened in Ankara and Konya


 
23 February 2012

Photographs of Saudi Arabian cities of Mecca and Medina will be exhibited in Istanbul.

Prof.Dr. Mehmet Gormez, the head of Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate, met Sami Angawi, the founder of Hajj Research Center and a prominent architect, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

During the meeting, Gormez and Angawi agreed to exhibit Angawi's special collection of Mecca and Medina photographs in Istanbul.

The same exhibition will later be opened in Ankara and Konya.

Angawi said they were working on different projects not to demolish historical porticos around Kaaba.

Gormez will meet Saudi Arabia's Minister of Pilgrimage Affairs & Religious Trusts Bandar bin Muhammad Hajjar and sign pilgrimage protocol for 2012.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=...rticleID=86210
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#624 [Permalink] Posted on 24th February 2012 18:35
Makkah hotels book rooms for Hajis now



Arafat Day - Haj 2011

By ARAB NEWS

Published: Feb 23, 2012 23:59 Updated: Feb 23, 2012 23:59

MAKKAH: Although the pilgrimage is more than seven months away, Haj missions and real estate brokers have started reserving residential buildings and hotels for pilgrims, local daily Al-Watan reported Thursday, quoting the real estate committee chairman of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"The missions and the brokers have so far made a down payment of SR900 million to reserve over 7,000 buildings and hotels, whose value is expected to be more than SR7 billion," Mansour Abu Rayash said.

He said the favorite areas for the accommodation of pilgrims are the central area around the Grand Mosque, Kudai, Al-Aziziyah, Al-Shisha and Al-Maabdah districts.

Abu Rayash said the Haj missions were keen to reserve accommodations for their pilgrims at an early date and were mainly focusing on the central area, which is very expensive. "It may cost SR7,000 to accommodate a single pilgrim in this particular area, which is very close to the Haram," he explained.

According to him, pilgrims may pay from SR2,000 to SR5,000 for accommodation in other areas, depending on proximity to the Grand Mosque.

The chairman expected a big number of buildings would be rented this year in the areas of Al-Adl, Jabal Al-Nur, Al-Moaisim, Al-Salamah and Al-Nuzha because of the ongoing development projects in the central area including the first ring road, for which more than 1,800 housing units were confiscated and demolished.

Abu Rayash said about 20 percent of the building owners had already signed contracts for the accommodation of pilgrims and received down payments equivalent to 30 percent of the rent value.

According to building owners, the most favorable areas for pilgrims after the central area are Mahbas Al-Jin, Kudai, Ajyad and Al-Aziziyah, because they are not far from the Haram.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article579031.ece

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#625 [Permalink] Posted on 24th February 2012 21:15

Source http://almiskeenah.com/?p=13459

 

…there’s a lot of speculation going on about the plans for the Mataf…what is a drilling machine doing in that fenced off area…preparing…studying for which option will be implemented?…some say the decision has already been made…like the massive extension growing by the minute in the courtyard…the Ummah left guessing until work was well under way…Alhumdulillah, one thing is for sure..and that is that the Ottoman arches…which at one stage were doomed…are to remain…

…the general consensus amongst the locals is that the above option is the one to be constructed…Allahu ‘Alum…considering it is the model that is currently part of the Hajj Exhibition at the British Museum, click image for details, probably means the choice has been decided upon…

…the following are designs that apparently have been submitted…neither looking feasible or sturdy or aesthetically compatible to the present Masjid al-Haram…

…the following design is built upon the concept of a temporary removable structure…assembled and disassembled according to the peak seasons…

…maybe time to play with some lego…!…meanwhile audible speculation ripples across the Ummah…

May Allah Ta’ala guide all the decision makers, facilitate ease throughout every stage of whatever changes are to be adopted, bless every soul involved in this project, from inception to completion, and shower an abundance of patience on all pilgrims during the years of disruption, Ameen.

 

 

All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.

 

Source: http://almiskeenah.com/?p=13459

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#626 [Permalink] Posted on 24th February 2012 21:18

Source: http://almiskeenah.com/?p=13391

 

…a neat row of newly installed fans on the ponderous buttresses of the royal complex…established on what would have been the foothills of the first mountain Allah Ta’ala created, Abu Qubais (along with other significant facts related to Abu Qubais and photos from 2009, and going back further to 2007)

 

…this area coincides with the outskirts of where the Banu Hashim tribe were…how Mubarak…the vicinity of the first mountain and the birth of the last and final Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam…

…while the entire area surrounding Masjid al-Haram was where Allah Ta’ala chose for so many great ‘firsts’ to happen…Ibrahim Alaihis Salam’s journeying there with his wife Hagar and son Ismail Alaihumaas Salam and their special place in our history and rituals…and all that intervened before so many were chosen to receive the first blessings of Hidayah on this hallowed soil…SubhanAllah!

…now the gaze is dominated by sophisticated machinery digging…moving the bedrock where Islam dawned and eventually flourished…

…where stones were once carried to construct the first BaituLlah…

…to the current times where huge edifices sprout skyward…perched on the very pegs that were made to hold the mountains…increasing the accommodation for the millions being called to Allah Ta’ala’s House…

…the changes seem never ending…

…and will probably never reach any point of completion…

…constant adding and subtracting…pulling down and building up…bigger…higher….grander…

…from the frugal to the opulent…

…from the humble to the extravagant…

…from simplicity to complex…

…dare it be said…from the spiritual to the materialistic…from necessity to indulgence…

…from the modest, unpretentious to competitive haughty boastfulness…

…Insha’Allah we are able to maintain our focus on all that gains Allah Ta’ala’s pleasure and favours as this metamorphosis unfolds…and to steer our hearts firmly onto the noble Sunnah of our Blessed Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam and be constantly in awe of the sacrifices his illustrious Sahabah RadhiAllahu anhum made for the Deen…reminding ourselves that they held Deen in their hearts and Dunya in their hands…

…and if what we are witnessing are signs leading us closer and closer to the End of Times may our diligence with our preparations be increased and Du’a for success in Both Worlds be incessant…

…may we be assiduously nurturing our love for our Noble Nabi SallAllahu alaihi wasallam, especially during these final days of the Mubarak month of his birth…bringing to mind this poignant conversation:

A Bedouin asked the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam about the Hour. He said, “It will surely come to pass. What have you prepared for it?” The man said, “O Messenger of Allah, I have not prepared much in the way of prayer and good works, but I love Allah and His Messenger.” The Prophet said, “You will be with those you love.” The Muslims had never rejoiced as much they did when they heard this. (Sahih al-Bukhari)

…as all these changes are manifested around our sacred places may our sights be on this very same love the Bedouin expressed and our ultimate destination is with those we love, Ameen…

 

All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.

 

Source: http://almiskeenah.com/?p=13391

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#627 [Permalink] Posted on 24th February 2012 23:12
jzk. i check this thread everyday!
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#628 [Permalink] Posted on 24th February 2012 23:19
"Daywalk3r" wrote:
jzk. i check this thread everyday!


Alhumdulillah, I'm glad you appreciate it. Just doing my best to get the news out there.

Honestly, I get asked if I have any ideas of what's happening in the News here at home and what my opinions are. My response, I don't care, I have a different mission in life. My Dua's are with the Muslims all over the world and pray that Allah give us all good news. (i only keep track of what's going on in the Muslim world)
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#629 [Permalink] Posted on 25th February 2012 13:59
Trains will be up and running in 3 years,

says Saudi Railways chief


By SIRAJ WAHAB | ARABNEWS

Published: Feb 19, 2012 23:49 Updated: Feb 19, 2012 23:49

DAMMAM: Three years from now Saudi Arabia will haveoneof the most extensive rail networks in the world. It will rivalgridsin such advanced nations as Spain, France and Germany.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has approved billionsof riyalsin recent years for the construction of multiple projects to link cities on the Kingdom's northern border with Jordan, such as Haditha, Qurrayat and Hazm Al-Jalamid with Buraidah, Majmaa and Riyadh in the center. The rail network will connect Dammam on the east coast with Jeddah on the west coast. High-speed trains will link Makkah with Jeddah, Rabigh and Madinah. Dammam will be connected to Jubail and Ras Al-Khair. These are mind-boggling projects. They will change the face of Saudi Arabia. They will likelystimulatea new industrial revolution in the Kingdom.

To understand thesecomplex railway projects, Arab News turned to the sharp, alert and seasoned mind of 68-year-old Abdul Aziz M. Al-Hokail, president of the Saudi Railways Organization. He is at the center of these game-changing scenarios. A 1964 petroleum-engineering graduatefrom the University of Texas in the United States, Al-Hokail spent nearly four decades in Saudi Aramco where he carried out a number of projects, small and large. He was executivevicepresident when he finishedhiscareer with Saudi Aramco in August 2002. Obviously the experience of building oil terminals, refineries, pipelines and oil and gas separation plants has stood him in good stead while executing the mega railway projects.

"We currently have 1,200 km of rail lines, and when all these projects are completed in three or four years, we will have7,000 km," he says. "I can't tell you the total costsof theseprojects,but it will spawn new industries, new cities, new employment opportunities, and there is every possibility thatonewill oneday be able to take a train from Jeddah to cities in Europe."

In the following conversation, Al-Hokail narrates fascinating details:

( I just quote about Haramain High Speed Rail project)

Q: Project No. 3?

A: It is the Haramain High Speed Rail project which will link Makkah, Jeddah, Rabigh and Madinah. All contracts for this project are signed, and it has begun. The project's first phase consists of civil work, and it is moving along very well. I would say 45 percent of the first phase is so far complete. The civil work involved acquisition of land, defining the alignment, digging it all up and flattening it by pouring in tons and tons of cement --basically getting the ground ready for laying tracks. Also part of the civil work is to construct 154 bridges, a viaduct and more than 500 tunnels.

Q: More than 500 tunnels?

A: Yes, there will be more than 500 tunnels on the line between Makkah, Jeddah, Rabigh and Madinah. As I said, 45 percent of Phase 1 is complete. The remainder of Phase 1 is the construction of railway stations. This contract was awarded last year. The stations will bebuilt in Makkah, Jeddah, Rabigh and Madinah. There will be two terminals in Jeddah - one at King Abdulaziz Airport and another at the King Abdullah intersection on the Jeddah-Makkah Expressway. Phase 2 of this project will involve the laying of tracks and getting the trains on them. We will have 36 trains on this route. Their speed will bemore than 300 km per hour. This crucial component of the project was awarded last year to Al-Shoula consortium, which comprises Saudi and Spanish companies. The project includes construction of railway tracks, installation of signals and telecommunication systems, electrification, operational control center and procurement of trains. This project will becompleted by the end of 2014 or early 2015. Insha'Allah.

full article: arabnews.com/economy/article577729.ece
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#630 [Permalink] Posted on 25th February 2012 23:14
Umrah firms not taking proper care of pilgrims

Grand Mosque in Makkah - Aug 2011 25 February 2012

JEDDAH - The Ministry of Haj has blamed some Umrah companies and their foreign agents for not looking properly after their pilgrims,resulting in delays, overcrowding and procedural problems at the country's airports, ports and border posts.

In a statement issued Thursday, the ministry said that any changes to the arrival and departure times of pilgrims are the responsibility of these service companiesand their foreign agents.

Umrah companiesmust ensurethey haveallthenecessary data for each of their pilgrimson arrival,including flightnumbers, airline, date and time of arrival, nationality, and departure details.

Companies must also have signed the necessary transport contracts for their pilgrims,which aredocumentedatthe Ministry of Haj and issued by the Ministry of Transport when pilgrims arriveattheir destination in theKingdom.

They must also inform the Tas'heel Company about the pilgrims' transport company, bus numbers, drivers' data and provide copies of the operation orders for bus drivers and vehicles.

The Tas'heel Company is funded by the government and works closely with the Interior and Haj ministries and all Umrah companies that provide transport and lodging. It has staff at all points of entry and departure.

In its statement, the ministry said that it wants to ensure that all Umrah and Haj companiesprovidetop-quality services so that pilgrims enjoy their stay in the Kingdom. These companies must not repeat mistakesmadein the past.

The ministry said that Umrah companies and their agents must ensure they know when their pilgrimsarrivein theKingdom. They must not depend on officials from the Ministry of Haj for this and other information.

The Ministry of Haj has made it compulsory for Umrah companies to provide every pilgrim with a wrist band showing thecompany name, address and telephone numbers in Makkah and Madina.

If Umrah pilgrimsarriveand haveno information on them,then the monitoring and follow up committees will ensure these pilgrims are given accommodation and possiblyreferred to other Umrah firms.

Umrah firms must also confirm all departure detailswith the Tas'heel Company, 24 hours before pilgrims leave.

Departing Umrah pilgrims must also not be sent to the airport without a representative from their company because this can lead to them losing their tickets, missing their flights and then sleeping in the departure terminals.

Umrah pilgrimsmust beatKingAbdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah a maximum of six hours ahead of their departure; and three hours before departing from Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madina.

The company must placesignboardson thefront and sides of the buses indicating to which departure terminal they are heading, whether it is the northern, southern or Haj terminal.

For Umrah pilgrims departing from Yanbu Commercial Port,the ministry has made it obligatory for Umrah companies to make sure beforehand, with the Haj Administration in Yanbu, that the ferry is at the port and is ready for passengers to board. This is because there are no waiting facilities for pilgrims at the port.

For passengers traveling by land, the ministry said that Umrah companies and their agents must know exactly when their pilgrims arriveattheKingdom's border entry points.

An Umrah company representative must then accompany the pilgrims' bus to their residence in the Kingdom. This is to help out if there is a mechanical breakdown or other problems on the route.

Foreign buses should be parked in the parking lots allocated by the TrafficDepartment. Foreign buses are not allowed to enter the two holy cities during peak hours unless permitted to do so by the company's representative. The ministry called on all Umrah companiesto coordinatewith their agentsabroad to create awareness among Umrah pilgrims about the weight of their luggage, to prevent any arrival and departure delays.

www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...20120225118276
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