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Umrah season begins on Nov 23 ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Hajj in Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans to further strengthen the electronic regulations to improve the services as well as streamline the arrival and departure of pilgrims with the beginning of the Umrah season on Nov. 23 (Safar 1).Minister of Haj Bandar Hajjar and heads of Umrah service providers to discuss the updated electronic services, the Saudi Press Agency reported.This meeting aimed at developing the international electronic network for Umrah and further improving the services and facilities for pilgrims in the new season.Eissa Rawas, deputy minister for Umrah affairs, said the meeting is being convened in view of the resounding success of last year's Umrah season when a total of 6.15 million foreign pilgrims performed the lesser pilgrimage."The ministry made 20 percent and 50 percent cuts in the number of foreign and domestic Haj pilgrims respectively while the period of Umrah visas was reduced from one ...

87.2pc of Saudi families have drivers ISLAMABAD: A recent survey conducted by the Public Opinion Survey Unit in King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue found that 66.7 percent of the 1,000 participants from the Kingdom had house-maids.The survey also found that 87.2 percent of the Saudi families participating in the polls said that they had private chauffeurs, Arab news reported.In another focus issue of the survey, it was revealed that Sudanese labor ranked last on the list of foreign workers preferred ...
Ban on children at Haj under study ISLAMABAD: Senior Saudi pilgrimage officials are looking to ban children under 10 as a precautionary measure to protect them from the scorching summer heat.According to the proposal, children under the age of 10 will not be allowed to accompany their parents as they perform the Islamic ritual required of all adult Muslims at least once in their lives, The Gulf News reported.Officials at the Haj ministry said that children would face huge problems dealing with ...
UN Security Council urges world to step up help to Iraq UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Friday urged the world to step up support for the Iraqi government and its security forces in their intensifying battle against fighters. In a unanimous statement, the 15-member council condemned the "vicious string of suicide, vehicle-borne and other attacks" in Baghdad and surrounding provinces carried out by the Islamic State (IS) organization. The council "urged the international community, in accordance with international law, to further strengthen and expand ...
Hajis stream into Madinah ISLAMABAD: An estimated 650,000 Hajis have already arrived in Madinah to visit the Prophet's Mosque since the Haj ended, with more expected over the coming days, according to officials.There was congestion on the Madinah-Makkah highway because of the increasing numbers of buses carrying pilgrims into the city. The security checkpoint at Kilo (meter) 9 has been staffed by special forces officers to inspect vehicles, limit the speed of vehicles and provide parking space for Saudi ...
Foreign Haj group leaders hail health services at holy sites ISLAMABAD: Haj groups leaders have hailed the exemplary health services rendered by the Saudi government during Haj this year."The efforts exerted by the Kingdom in the health sector are an honor for every Muslim. The hospitality shown to the guests of God is really unique," said Abdul-Malik Kuala, head of the Moroccan Haj Medical Mission, Arab news reported.Kuala pointed out that the quality and equality in therapeutic and health services provided to pilgrims were highly ...
Departing pilgrims face cap on Zam Zam water ISLAMABAD: Pilgrims returning home after completing Haj pilgrimage are becoming increasingly resentful of the five-liter cap on Zam Zam water imposed by the authorities.With the demand for the water from the holy fountain surging as pilgrims return home, the authorities have moved to increase the supplies of Zam Zam in Jeddah and Madinah, Arab news reported.While in Makkah, pilgrims have access to plentiful supplies of Zam Zam. However, the long tradition of carrying Zam Zam ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
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WeeklyOctober 27, 2014
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