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Requests for higher pilgrim quotas declined

The Haj Ministry issued an apology to all countries requesting an increase in pilgrim quotas this year

Source : Arab News | 20 Sep 2012

The Haj Ministry issued an apology to all countries requesting an increase in pilgrim quotas this year, citing the ongoing mega development projects in Makkah and Madinah as the reason.

Minister Bandar Hajjar denied any intent to limit the number of pilgrims for Umrah. He was visiting the General Syndicate of Cars in Makkah on Tuesday.

Hajjar told members of the syndicate transport charges which have remained static for over 30 years, would be reviewed.

He said royal consent was given to establish a consultative council for the syndicate under the Haj minister. “Undersecretary of the ministry and a number of transport company owners will become members of the council,” he added.

The minister said the council would meet one week after its establishment and address matters concerning pilgrim transportation. He said the syndicate is going ahead with its plans to Saudize jobs in the transport industry and asked Saudi youth to apply for seasonal jobs as drivers with the syndicate.

In other news, Yousuf bin Ahmed Huwalah, chairman of the board of directors of the private establishment of guides in Madinah, said they recruited 3,000 seasonal employees to provide services to Madinah visitors.

Three centers receive pilgrims in addition to 18 executive offices in various locations around the holy city. “There are two data centers to register passport details, a center for medical care and three guidance offices,” he said.

Huwalah said the establishment employed 10 Saudi women to serve pilgrims at the health care center, at the office to guide female pilgrims at the Miqat Mosque, and the department of information and public relations.

Abdul Fattah bin Muhammad Atta, director of Prince Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah, said that in addition to the four existing lounges, a new 4,500 square meter lounge is now available to facilitate the flow of pilgrims. He said additional parking lots are available for buses transporting pilgrims from the airport to the hotels in the central area around the Prophet’s Mosque.

On Monday, the first day of flights arriving for Haj, the airport received 48 flights.

 

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