Saudi Arabia activates new web link for Qatari Umrah applicants

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah set up the new link for Qatari Umrah applications after the previous link was blocked by the Qatari government. (Screengrab)
Updated 15 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia activates new web link for Qatari Umrah applicants

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has activated a new web link to handle requests from Qatari nationals wishing to perform the Umrah pilgrimage, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah set up the new link because access to the previous one was blocked by Qatari authorities, SPA said.

The new link is: https://qtumra.haj.gov.sa

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly stressed that Qatari nationals are welcome to undertake pilgrimages to the Kingdom, despite the diplomatic rift between the two countries. 

The Kingdom, along with the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, in 2017 imposed a boycott on Qatar due to claims it supports terrorist groups. Doha denies the claims.


Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 August 2019
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Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

  • The website of a cryptocurrency company is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal
  • The Singapore-based company uses the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree

JEDDAH: Fraudsters are trying to lure victims into investing in a “virtual currency” with false claims that it is linked to the Saudi riyal and will be used to finance key projects, the Saudi Ministry of Finance warned on Tuesday.

The website of a cryptocurrency company in Singapore is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal, using the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree. Its “ultimate goal” is to finance NEOM, the smart city and tourist destination being built in the north of the Kingdom, the company claims.

“Any use of the KSA name, national currency or national emblem by any entity for virtual or digital currencies marketing will be subject to legal action by the competent authorities in the Kingdom,” the ministry said on Tuesday.

The fraudsters were exploiting ignorance of how virtual currencies work, cryptocurrency expert Dr. Assad Rizq told Arab News.

“A lot of tricks can be played,” he said. “Some of these companies are not regulated, they have no assets, and even their prospectus is sometimes copied from other projects.

“They hype and pump their project so the price goes up. Inexpert investors, afraid of missing out, jump in, which spikes the price even higher. Then the owners sell up and make tons of money.

“Cryptocurrencies are a risky investment for two reasons. First, the sector is not yet fully regulated and a lot of projects use fake names and identities, such as countries’ names or flags, to manipulate investors.

“Second, you have to do your homework, learn about the technology. And if you still want to invest, consider your country’s rules and regulations.”