Haj Ministry to embark on new mega-projects in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom is poised for massive urban development this year with the implementation of several first-of-its-kind projects, Bandar Hajjar, minister of Haj, said.

In an interview with Arab News, Hajjar said: “The government has allocated billions of riyals for these projects, some of which are already under way. Several others will be taken up this year. There are also future projects that have already been awarded and commissioned to leading Saudi construction companies.”

“The ministry has deployed technology in the service of pilgrims,” he said. “The processing of Haj and Umrah paperwork is now done electronically. This is a historic achievement. Many problems that we used to face in the past will not arise, such as the overstaying of visitors beyond the Haj season. Visitors themselves will benefit and will be spared from time-consuming procedures.”

Hajjar said: “The ministry held 45 training and educational courses for staff working in Haj to prepare them to better serve pilgrims. I want to emphasize that Haj services form a complete system in itself.”
“We are also establishing women’s units in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah. They will have separate entries and exits for men, in accordance with the dictates of Shariah. Tawafa companies have their own women’s committees that play an essential role in the assistance of female pilgrims,” the minister said.

“We will recruit many more women when construction of the buildings to provide housing for female workers at the ministry is completed. The ministry does not have any objection to women working for the tawafa companies as long as they observe the legal dictates of Islam,” he said.

By Nadim Al-Hamid,Oct 09 2013