The number of pilgrims arriving via air, land and sea entry points until Friday reached 1.07 million, an increase of 204,302, or 24 percent, compared to the same period last year.
The numbers of pilgrims arriving by air, land and sea were 1.015 million, 50,554 and 4,915 respectively, according to data released by the General Directorate of Passports.
On Sunday, the number of pilgrims arriving in Madinah stood at 32,468, while those leaving the city for Makkah reached 24,073, according to the National Guides Establishment in Madinah.
The number of pilgrims who remained in Madinah up to Sunday evening reached 201,101, compared to 175,676 in the same period last year.
Presiding over a meeting on Civil Defense plans for Hajj, the director general of the Civil Defense, Gen. Sulaiman Al-Amro, emphasized the importance of raising the sense of security, and of not tolerating any excesses or violations of safety requirements.
The commander of Civil Defense forces for Hajj, Maj. Gen. Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Mubaddal, gave a visual presentation on the Civil Defense’s preparations and plans, and the readiness and positioning of forces at the holy sites.
Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail
Source – Arab News
World’s largest umbrellas to be installed at Masjidul Haram,Makkah
Folding umbrellas will be installed at the Grand Mosque’s courtyards and roof next year to protect pilgrims from the sun and heat, said commanders of Hajj security forces.
The umbrellas will cover 53×53 meters, making them the largest in the world.
The commander of the forces responsible for security at the mosque, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al-Ahmadi, said temperatures are quite low inside the mosque due to air conditioning, but the umbrellas will provide comfort for pilgrims in the courtyards and on the roof.
Source – Arab news
Construction work set to resume at Masjid Al Haram,Makkah
Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 18 August 2017| 25 Zhul Qadha 1438
Saudi Binladin Group will restart work next month on the $26.6 billion expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, nearly two years after work stopped in the wake of a crane collapse at the site that killed 107 people, sources told Reuters on Thursday.
Work will resume after the annual Hajj pilgrimage, and Saudi Binladin will pay outstanding salaries owed to staff involved in the project beginning on Aug. 20, according to a notice that the company sent to banks and which was seen by Reuters.
Banking and construction industry sources confirmed the plan. Saudi Binladin, one of the country’s top construction conglomerates, and the Ministry of Finance were not immediately available to comment.
Development of the Grand Mosque and its surrounding area to accommodate more worshippers was halted after the fatal construction accident in September 2015, and then remained on hold as government finances were squeezed by low oil prices.
The government is now enjoying a moderate recovery in oil income, and it is keen to resume work on big religious tourism and infrastructure schemes as part of a drive to diversify the economy beyond oil exports.
Its plan to restart construction at the Grand Mosque is a fresh sign of the rehabilitation of Saudi Binladin, which was temporarily banned from winning new state contracts after the crane collapse and has been damaged financially by a deep slump in the construction sector.
The Ministry of Finance has allocated a portion of this year’s budget to key projects and has been in talks with Saudi Binladin in recent weeks about restarting several big schemes, the sources said. The ministry pledged to make payments that would enable Binladin to pay its staff, they said.
Another stalled government project in which Saudi Binladin is involved, the $3.5 billion construction of the Abraj Kudai hotel complex in Makkah, will restart in coming months, sources told Reuters earlier this week.
The company also restarted work earlier this year on the new King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah.
Source – Saudi Gazette