Saudi Gazette Report

MAKKAH —Saudi Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Abdel Fattah Mashat said that the number of Hajj visas issued since May 9 this year accounted for one million. “The issuance of Hajj visa is the final process as it is to be preceded by many other things such as getting ready of facilities and services for the pilgrims. Scheduling the grouping and movement of pilgrims between Hajj cities and regions is based on accumulated experience, as well as on modern technical capabilities,” he said while addressing the third main session of the Grand Hajj Symposium titled “The Kingdom’s organizational efforts to facilitate Hajj works.”

Mashat said that the ministry uses technologies in undertaking scheduling of pilgrims’ grouping, assigning roles, and establishing communications with pilgrims’ offices. The Nusuk card is one of the technical services, which contributes to the pilgrims’ grouping operations and catching violating pilgrims.

The deputy minister noted that the Hajj system is a complex system that includes many aspects, such as jurisprudence, security, and health. “The Holy Sites are empty cities that transform within 24 hours into cities with bustling of millions of pilgrims. There has also been a tremendous change in the culture of organizing Hajj at the ministry from working in limited times to early preparations throughout the year,” he said while noting that last year the Ministry of Hajj launched the charter for unprecedented advance preparedness immediately after the end of the Hajj season.

In his speech, Eng. Saleh Al-Rasheed, CEO of the Royal Commission for Makkah City and the Holy Sites, said that the commission’s goal is to upgrade the service provided to the guests of God, pointing to the completion of the ring roads in Makkah coinciding with this year’s Hajj season. He said that SR7billion were invested in infrastructure and electricity to improve services while paying attention to safety.

Al-Rasheed stated that more than 70 million passengers are transported through the transportation system in Makkah and benefit from the developed transport stations. Referring to the Sacrificial Meat Project, he said that more than one million heads of sheep will be slaughtered and their meat will be distributed among the poor in more than 27 countries.

Addressing the symposium, Dr. Hisham Aljadhey, CEO of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), said that the process of verifying the pilgrims’ meals begins with the farms and sources of foodstuffs, passing through the scrutiny of the suppliers and manufacturers and the factories and upon their arrival to the pilgrims. He stressed SFDA’s keenness in enhancing awareness among the pilgrims about how to deal with food, with the content being translated into six languages. “From year to year, we develop our practices in ensuring the nutritional safety of the guests of God, and we enable Hajj delegations to bring the necessary medication of pilgrims. We audit the consignments to ensure their safety, and provide the same medications that people with chronic diseases are accustomed to.”

For his part, Makkah Mayor Musaed Al-Daoud stated that developing the quality of life and humanizing Makkah are among the main goals that they are working on, including working to re-plan and design crowded areas so that they are suitable for their users regardless of their circumstances, drawing attention to the work on humanizing about 4,000 designated homes. It has a total capacity of 1.7 million pilgrims. He also pointed out that the Makkah Mayoralty has applied the latest technologies to monitor cleanliness and waste management, with the continuation of environmental sanitation and insect control operations.

Al-Daoud said that there are 328 central kitchens licensed to provide food and they are equipped with the standards and requirements, drawing attention to the work to verify food safety through 450 observers and fixed and mobile laboratories to examine samples. Municipal services in Al-Mashaer are subject to supervision through 1,500 observers who travel via bicycles and helicopters. He said that food control work includes buildings, restaurants, catering, and the commercial sector.

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2024-06-12T18:16:12Z dg43tfdfdgfd