Support Khan for his honesty, says Dubai businessman who sponsored Davos trip

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, with Dubai-based businessman Imran Chaudhry (Centre) and Hussain Sajwani, Chairman Damac Properties, at a joint dinner hosted at Davos during the World Economic Forum by Dubai based businessman Imran Chaudhry and Saudi businessman Khalid Juffali in Davos, Switzerland on January 22, 2020. (Photo credit: Imran Chaudhry)
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Updated 27 January 2020

Support Khan for his honesty, says Dubai businessman who sponsored Davos trip

  • Khan revealed on Thursday his Davos trip was sponsored by friends and businessmen Ikram Sehgal and Imran Chaudhry
  • Chaudhry has been based in Dubai for over 35 years where he works in real estate, metals trading and recycling

DUBAI: Imran Chaudhry, the Dubai-based businessman who sponsored Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF) last week, said he had a long association with the premier and supported him due to his pain and struggles for Pakistan.

Addressing the ‘Breakfast at Davos’ event jointly organized by Pathfinder Group and Martin Dow Group on Thursday, Khan revealed that his Davos trip was sponsored by his friends and well-known businessmen Ikram Sehgal and Imran Chaudhry.




Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, at a joint dinner hosted at Davos during the World Economic Forum by Dubai based businessman Imran Chaudhry and Saudi businessman Khalid Juffali (left) in Davos, Switzerland on January 22, 2020. (Photo credit: Imran Chaudhry)

Chaudhry has been based in Dubai for over 35 years where he works in real estate, metals trading, and recycling. He also has investments in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and is a well-known philanthropist. Sehgal is a retired military officer and businessman.

In an interview with Arab News on Sunday, Chaudhry declined to share details of how much money he had contributed to Khan’s trip but said he supported the PM “because of his personal characteristics.”

“I am not a politician or into politics but I support Khan for his personality, his honesty and for the pain he has for Pakistan,” Chaudhry said. “My association with Khan is 30 years old, since the time he was a cricketer and was building his cancer hospital, Shaukat Khanum.”

On January 22, on the sidelines of the Davos meet, Chaudhry also hosted a dinner for Khan jointly with Saudi businessman Khalid Juffali in honor of the delegations from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The dinner was attended by Dr. Klaus Schwabs, CEO of WEF, and other top businessmen from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.




Copy of the joint dinner invitation card hosted at Davos during the World Economic Forum Dubia by Dubai based businessman Imran Chaudhry and Saudi businessman Khalid Juffali (left) in Davos, Switzerland on January 22, 2020. (Photo credit: Imran Chaudhry)

In a press release issued prior to Khan’s Davos visit, the government said the trip was expected to cost only $68,000.

“Saving is part of the prime minister’s ongoing robust drive in which he has also directed that the expenditures upon his upcoming WEF participation be minimized,” said the press release.


Pakistani Umrah pilgrims will be compensated, says Saudi envoy

Updated 28 February 2020

Pakistani Umrah pilgrims will be compensated, says Saudi envoy

  • Ambassador Al-Malki says pilgrims will be able to travel to the Kingdom on the same visa or get a new one
  • PIA spokesperson says passengers can get full refund or get their seats readjusted

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki said on Friday that all Pakistani Umrah pilgrims affected by the temporary travel ban to the Kingdom due to the threat of coronavirus would be compensated.

“Pakistani Umrah pilgrims who had to travel to Saudi Arabia during the dates of suspension will be compensated in the best possible way,” Al-Malki told Arab News on Friday. “They will be able to travel on the same visa or will be issued a fresh one free of charge.”

Saudi Arabia on Thursday placed a temporary ban on Umrah pilgrims in an attempt to ensure public safety and prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation also supported the Kingdom’s decision to protect its citizens from the epidemic.

“All those passengers who have Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) tickets will be able to get full refund from the PIA offices or their travel agents,” the national carrier’s spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez Khan told Arab News on the phone from Karachi, adding it was up to the passengers if they wanted to avail the refund option or get their seats readjusted after the ban.

Meanwhile, Saudi airlines also announced full refund of tickets through a circular which is available with Arab News.

“The Pakistani mission in Saudi Arabia is in touch with the Saudi authorities on this issue and will take all possible measures to facilitate Pakistani pilgrims,” spokesperson of the Pakistani embassy in Saudi Arabia Arshad Munir told Arab News on the phone from Jeddah.

Faizan Akhtar, a member of Pakistan’s Umrah Travel Agents’ Association told Arab News from Rawalpindi that the situation would become clear in the next few days, but all the passengers would get refunds or manage to travel on the same Umrah package after the ban.

“There was a previous incident of flight suspension during the Pak-India standoff last year which disturbed Umrah pilgrims. They were compensated by the Saudi authorities who extended their visas without extra charges and airlines adjusted their seats accordingly. We haven’t received any official communication on this so far, but the situation will become clear in the next few days,” Akhtar said.