Jeddah hosts first major exhibition since COVID-19 outbreak

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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen. (Supplied)
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Updated 10 June 2021

Jeddah hosts first major exhibition since COVID-19 outbreak

  • Makkah Region Digital Projects Exhibition is also the first event at the Jeddah Super Dome, the biggest pillarless dome in the world

JEDDAH: The first major event held in Jeddah since the exhibitions industry shut down in March 2020, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, opened on Wednesday.

The week-long Makkah Region Digital Projects Exhibition, organized by the Emirate of Makkah Province, features digital presentations showcasing the accomplishments of the province and its development projects.

It is the first event held at the Jeddah Super Dome, which with a diameter of 206 meters is said to be the biggest pillarless dome in the world.

Under the theme of “Building Man and Developing Place,” the exhibition highlights projects in the region that focus on intellectual and cultural aspects of life. It also features competitions in which the people of the region and its affiliated governorates can participate.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and his deputy, Prince Badr bin Sultan, accompanied by a number of ministers and businessmen.

The event, which runs until June 15, includes presentations about more than 100 development projects in the region over the past 14 years. These focus on the use of technology to improve city life in a number of areas, including environmental quality, safety, education and community development.

The exhibition features discussions of subjects such as the effect of the technology boom on projects in Makkah, and advances in the fields of services, development and artificial intelligence. It also showcases examples of digital projects that aid the understanding of key factors that can make sustainable, equitable and smart initiatives a reality.

Public and private universities in the region are taking part in the event. More than 90 participants will focus on the development of plans and programs that support digital transformation in fields such as Hajj and Umrah, tourism and entertainment through dialogue and training.

During the inauguration ceremony, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal also honored nine winners of the Makkah Excellence Awards. A number of health teams from the region were also honored in appreciation of their heroic role in countering the coronavirus pandemic.

Visitor numbers at the exhibition will be limited and social-distancing measures enforced to safeguard public health, and hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout the venue, organizers said.


Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting southern Saudi Arabia

Updated 19 June 2021

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting southern Saudi Arabia

  • Iran-backed Houthi militia have consistently launched attacks against the Kingdom

RIYADH: The Arab coalition said it had intercepted a Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia’s Khamis Mushait, Al Ekhbariya TV reported early Saturday.
The coalition, which is fighting to restore the legitimacy of the internationally recognized government in Yemen, said it will take all measures to protect civilians in accordance with international law.
The Iran-backed Houthi militia have consistently launched attacks against the Kingdom.


Experts predict growing number of ‘digital pilgrims’ as COVID-19 pandemic persists

Updated 19 June 2021

Experts predict growing number of ‘digital pilgrims’ as COVID-19 pandemic persists

Experts predict growing number of 'digital pilgrims' as COVID-19 pandemic persists

JEDDAH: The growing role of digitization in media, advertising and services was the focus of a dialogue session held on Friday as part of the Makkah Region Digital Projects Exhibition.

Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat, Saudi deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah; Esam Al-Wagait, director of Saudi Arabia’s National Information Center; and Tony Chan, president of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, were among speakers during the session.

Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, governor of Makkah, also attended the session.

Mashat said that this year’s Hajj will witness a qualitative leap in the use of smart cards, with pilgrims’ journeys digitized from start to finish.

So far more than 450,000 requests have made through the electronic portal launched a few days ago, he said.

Saudi Arabia’s communications commission has worked to serve the pilgrims through digital systems before their arrival in the Kingdom.

Mashat said that the Ministry of Hajj is using smart cards and surveillance cameras to serve pilgrims, while artificial intelligence will increase surveillance camera efficiency and enhance security operations.

Chan said that the digital revolution will lead the economy and contribute to the operation of smart cities.

To achieve this, digital infrastructure must be flexible, secure and focused on people since sustainability is a necessity for future smart cities, he added.

 

 

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Who’s Who: Ahmad Ghazi Darwish, chief administrative officer at The Red Sea Development Co. and Amaala

Updated 18 June 2021

Who’s Who: Ahmad Ghazi Darwish, chief administrative officer at The Red Sea Development Co. and Amaala

Ahmad Ghazi Darwish is the chief administrative officer at The Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC) and Amaala.

He joined the Red Sea project in November 2016 as executive director of PMO. He worked on achieving approval of the project vision and strategy, interfacing with the board, incorporating the company, deploying key executive positions, administrating the master plan competition and obtaining approval of the concept master plan.

Darwish became chief of staff to the CEO in April 2018. In this role, he was responsible for TRSDC’s corporate services, human resources, government and external affairs, special projects and social development, corporate performance, EPMO, smart destination, strategy and cybersecurity functions.

He fulfilled these tasks by providing guidance and support, and cultivating relationships, whether external and internal, ensuring the alignment of efforts across the company through efficient business objectives.

In December 2020, he was promoted to chief administrative officer to reflect his broadened role, following three years in the role of chief of staff.

Darwish is the official Arabic spokesperson for TRSDC with the Saudi national media and has conducted several media interviews and gatherings.

Before joining TRSDC, Darwish served 20 years with Saudi Aramco, where he managed multiple projects in information technology and additional projects with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), including the infrastructure project of KAUST’s Research and Technology Park, and the Aramco research center at KAUST. He is a certified member of the Project Management Institute and the Saudi Council of Engineers, and holds a BSc in electric engineering from the University of Portland, US, and an MSc in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Glasgow, UK.


Saudi Arabia announces 15 more COVID-19 deaths

Updated 18 June 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 15 more COVID-19 deaths

  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 453,259
  • A total of 7,650 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 15 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,236 new infections on Friday.
Of the new cases, 372 were recorded in Makkah, 240 in Riyadh, 213 in the Eastern Province, 115 in Asir, 89 in Jazan, 65 in Madinah, 24 in Najran, 21 in Al-Baha, 18 in Hail, 18 in Tabuk, nine in the Northern Borders region, and four in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 453,259 after 1,050 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 7,650 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 16.3 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Hajj won't be allowed without smart card, official permit — ministry

Updated 18 June 2021

Hajj won't be allowed without smart card, official permit — ministry

JEDDAH: In an effort to ensure compliance with coronavirus (COVID-19) safety measures, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed that no one will be allowed to perform Hajj without a smart card and a documented official permit.

Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, said that the permit will be matched with the electronic card and the pilgrim’s ID, noting that there is no platform to apply for Hajj except the official website of the ministry.

“Any company that offers service packages outside the ministry’s platform is violating the system,” he said. 

“At the first stages of the ‘Eatmarna’ application, we noticed some violations by some entities and individuals, but with the passage of time, community awareness began to increase.”

Mashat said this year’s Hajj will use permits through the “Absher” platform only. Information for those who purchased their Hajj packages on the ministry’s platform will be linked to Absher and their ID.

According to the deputy minister, more than 470,000 applications have been received as of Wednesday at 5 p.m. as all met the conditions of immunization and have never performed Hajj before.

FASTFACT

470K

More than 470,000 applications have been received as of Wednesday at 5 p.m. as all met the conditions of immunization and have never performed Hajj before.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah called on all domestic pilgrims connected with the ministry to adhere to health instructions to enable those wishing to perform Hajj.

The ministry said resident locations will apply visual and thermal screening procedures upon pilgrims’ entrance and movement.

The allocated hotels in Makkah and Madinah must conform to the requirements listed by the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, and other bodies concerned with monitoring the accommodation of pilgrims.

The hotels must take into account the application of precautionary measures to prevent crowding inside rooms. The hotels also have to provide catering services for each pilgrim in his room as open buffets are banned.

A health guide (or health leader) from the concerned authority will be available during the pilgrims’ presence in the Hajj areas and during their movements.

This step comes to ensure the preventive measures. Pilgrims must consult a doctor if they suspect COVID-19 symptoms to ensure his safety and the safety of others.

Regarding the procedures in the holy sites, the Two Holy Mosques, and the central area in Makkah and Madinah, social distancing will be enforced throughout the grouping of pilgrims in all Hajj stages. This is in accordance with health requirements in residential buildings and tents. Pilgrims’ bags and baggage carts will be disinfected periodically.

Security guards will facilitate the exit of pilgrims from holy sites according to the time allotted to them and will ensure adherence to the number of pilgrims allowed in one space (no more than 50 people). Seat numbers on buses will be assigned to each pilgrim during the entire Hajj trip and standing inside busses will not be allowed. There will be an empty seat assigned between each pilgrim and carrying personal carry-on baggage will be prohibited.

In the case that a passenger suspects COVID-19 symptoms, the bus will be stopped and disinfected.

The ministries of health and hajj announced Saturday that a total of 60,000 pilgrims will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage this year, which will begin mid-July.