Saudi ministry announces quarantine rules for foreign pilgrims

The Kaaba is seen at the Grand Mosque, almost empty of worshippers after Saudi authorities suspended umrah for fear of the novel coronavirus, Mecca, Saudi Arabia, March 6, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 28 October 2020

Saudi ministry announces quarantine rules for foreign pilgrims

  • The official delivered these details at a virtual workshop on Monday

MAKKAH: People arriving in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah are not supposed to wear Ihram on their arrival, as they have to undergo a three-day quarantine in their hotels, said Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, chief planning and strategy officer at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

He said at the end of their hotel stay, their respective Umrah companies will transport them to the nearest “Miqat” to don Ihram and continue with their rituals.

In the third phase of Umrah resumption, which begins on Nov.1, pilgrims from around the world will be allowed to enter the Kingdom. Some 20,000 pilgrims — residents and visitors — can perform rituals daily amid strict social distancing measures.

Al-Maddah said the Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Weqaya) is monitoring the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic situation in every country to help inform the relevant authorities before Umrah arrivals.

The official delivered these details at a virtual workshop on Monday.

He said the Eatmarna app has been downloaded around 3 million times and more than 1.4 million people have applied for permits, with over 1 million being issued for Umrah and prayers in the Grand Mosque.

Al-Maddah said in case of a hike in infections, authorities may limit the number of pilgrims at any point.

He said full medical insurance is mandatory to ensure adequate health care for pilgrims in case of COVID-19 infection or any other health issues.

Al-Maddah said Weqaya will determine which countries can send pilgrims depending on the number of infections. He reassured that Umrah companies will be provided with regular updates.


Mohamed Al-Khereiji, chairman of the board of directors at MBC Media Solutions

Updated 28 November 2020

Mohamed Al-Khereiji, chairman of the board of directors at MBC Media Solutions

Mohamed Al-Khereiji was recently appointed as chairman of the board of directors at MBC Media Solutions (MMS).

MMS, a new in-house commercial and advertising sales unit, was launched in partnership between MBC Group, the largest and leading media company in the MENA region, and Engineer Holding Group (EHG), a prominent Saudi media group that has been operating in the Kingdom for more than 40 years.

Al-Khereiji received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Prince Sultan University in 2006. Six years later he obtained an executive master’s degree of business administration from the London-based Business School, formerly Cass.

From 2006 to 2007 he worked as an analyst for Deutsche Bank in London. From 2009, and for nearly four years, he was director of business development at Al Arabiya before becoming its deputy CEO in 2013. Three years later he became the CEO of the company, which some market reports listed as one of the top global outdoor advertising companies in 2019.

Al-Khereiji has also been vice president of the Abdulelah Al-Khereiji Group, which was founded in 1980.

He is also CEO of Al-Wasael Al-Saudia, a media and advertising company that recently won a bid to operate the stadium of King Saud University.   

In 2017 he was selected to head the advertising committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In September MBC Group acquired a minority equity stake in Al Arabiya which is part of EHG, where Al-Khereiji is CEO.