Saudi Arabia issues 2.78 million Umrah visas so far

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Muslims pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, ahead of the annual Haj pilgrimage in in the Muslim holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Monday Aug 28, 2017. (AP)
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Muslim pilgrims sit and circumambulate around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the Muslim holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia on August 28, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 13 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia issues 2.78 million Umrah visas so far

  • The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience

JEDDAH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 2,785,790, of which 2,346,429 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj and Umrah Ministry.
There are 345,114 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 233,910 in Makkah and 111,204 in Madinah.
Most pilgrims — 2,122,424 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 213,121 entered by land and 10,884 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (637,745) followed by Indonesia (420,410), India (292,607), Malaysia (135,895), Yemen (128,618), Egypt (73,179), Turkey (65,970), the UAE (59,855) and Bangladesh (57,701).
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.
Last year, the ministry launched a weekly indicator whereby authorities can track the number of pilgrims coming into the Kingdom, and in turn enrich their experiences by providing high-quality services.


First Saudi female air traffic controllers begin work

Updated 22 March 2019
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First Saudi female air traffic controllers begin work

  • Eleven women completed a one-year program conducted by Saudi Air Navigation Services

JEDDAH: Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) on Wednesday celebrated the appointment and start of work of the first batch of Saudi female air traffic controllers at an air traffic control center in Jeddah.
Eleven women completed a one-year program conducted by SANS in cooperation with the Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation. This is the first program to qualify women to work as air traffic controllers.
The academy initiative, in collaboration with SANS, seeks to create more jobs for women as part of a reform push to wean the economy off oil. Vision 2030 plan aims to increase employment and diversify revenue sources.
Earlier, SANS CEO Ryyan Tarabzoni said the state-owned company was prioritizing the hiring of women in the profession, as the country pushes to extend women’s rights in the country and also recruit more nationals as part of the “Saudization” project.