Saudi transport authority gets update on Haramain railway

A view of the Haramain Railway station in Jeddah. (SPA file photo)
Updated 19 April 2019
0

Saudi transport authority gets update on Haramain railway

RIYADH: The Haramain High-Speed Railway linking Makkah and Madinah, and its strategic role in developing the Saudi transport industry was discussed during the monthly meeting of the Public Transport Authority at its headquarters in Riyadh.
Rayan Al-Harbi, the director general of operations and maintenance for the railway, which began operating a little over six months ago, discussed the main features of the megaproject, which is the largest of its kind in the region and the sixth-largest in the world, and how it helps to promote the transport industry in the Kingdom.
He also talked about the strategic locations chosen for the five stations served by the railway, in Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh. The Jeddah station is the biggest of its kind in the world, which gives the project additional value through the state-of-the-art services it provides to travelers.
Al-Harbi praised the use of technology in the railway’s operational processes and electronic services, including online reservations. The huge national project relies on a highly qualified national workforce, and many important jobs have been Saudized, he noted, from work teams and leaders to maintenance and operations staff.
He said the project is one of the largest rapid-transport projects in the world in terms of infrastructure. It includes six giant power generators and a large number of bridges that are specially designed to be safe and secure in case of sand drift or floods.
More than 700 trips have been completed and more than 300,000 passengers have traveled on the Haramain railway since it was officially opened by King Salman in Sep. 2018. It is expected to carry up to 60 million passengers a year.


Hajj pilgrims praise Saudi support at Dhaka airport

Updated 17 July 2019
0

Hajj pilgrims praise Saudi support at Dhaka airport

  • Seventy immigration officials from Saudi Arabia are currently in Dhaka to accomplish pilgrims’ immigration tasks
  • At the airport, Saudi authorities have established 15 booths to serve pilgrims, who have to record 10-finger impressions in the Kingdom’s immigration database

DHAKA: Pre-immigration facilities provided by Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrims in Bangladesh have helped reduce waiting times by several hours after their arrival at airports in the Kingdom, several of them said on Wednesday.
The program is part of Saudi Arabia’s Road to Makkah initiative, whereby pilgrims can complete immigration at airports in their home country instead of doing it on arrival in the Kingdom.
From this year, Bangladeshi pilgrims are enjoying pre-immigration facilities at Dhaka airport.
“Among the 127,000 Bangladeshi pilgrims, this year 60,500 of them will have the opportunity to complete the immigration formalities at Dhaka airport,” Bangladeshi Religious Affairs Secretary Anisur Rahman told Arab News.
“From next year, all Bangladeshi pilgrims will enjoy this pre-immigration system at Dhaka airport.”
Seventy immigration officials from Saudi Arabia are currently in Dhaka to accomplish pilgrims’ immigration tasks. Three Saudi organizations are working at Dhaka airport to accomplish these tasks.
At the airport, Saudi authorities have established 15 booths to serve pilgrims, who have to record 10-finger impressions in the Kingdom’s immigration database.
In addition, at the immigration counter officials take photographs of the pilgrims, Rahman said.
“The pre-immigration system was supposed to be launched from the first Hajj flight on July 4, but due to technical issues we couldn’t do that on the first day. However, things are now running very smoothly,” he added.
Abdul Kayum Bepari, a Bangladeshi pilgrim who completed his Saudi immigration formalities at Dhaka airport, told Arab News: “It’s an amazing experience. All immigration formalities were completed within a minute. When I performed Hajj in 2011, it took more than four hours for me to complete the immigration formalities at the Saudi airport.”
Bangladeshi pilgrim Sadek Ali told Arab News: “Everything is very disciplined. This pre-immigration system has truly eased the hassle of thousands of Bangladeshi pilgrims.”
Pilgrim Bulbuli Begum told Arab News: “My Saudi immigration formalities took only a few seconds to be completed.”
Pre-immigration support for Bangladeshi pilgrims will continue until the last Hajj flight, which is scheduled on Aug. 5.
“We’re trying to ensure maximum support and comfort to the pilgrims,” said a Saudi immigration official at Dhaka airport.
“They don’t even need to worry about luggage. Once the pilgrims land at a Saudi airport, they’ll immediately board hotel-bound buses and will receive their luggage at the hotel.”