Foundation stone for pilgrims city in Madinah laid
MADINAH — Prince Faisal Bin Salman, Emir of Madinah and Chairman of Madinah Development Commission, laid the foundation stone here Tuesday of the King Abdullah City for Pilgrims — a Dar Al-Hijrah Company project.
Attending the inauguration were Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Minister of Haj Dr. Bandar Al-Hajjar.
The Public Investment Fund of Ministry of Finance owns the company and the ministry said in a statement that this is one of proposed projects for the development of Madinah and a compensation for the facilities removed from their location for the grand expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque and its precincts aiming to serve visitors of the Prophet’s Mosque after performing Haj and Umrah rituals.
The project is located three kms southwest of the Prophet’s Mosque, about 3 kms from Miqat, and 900 meters from Quba Mosque. The project includes about 100 administrative and residential towers that can accommodate more than 120,000 guests distributed in 40,000 rooms of grade four and five-stars.
Al-Assaf said, “The project is the largest one to be implemented by the Public Investment Fund in Madinah. It is unique as it serves pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors and unique in its design and time.”
Al-Hajjar said, “Allah Almighty bestowed upon the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the grand blessing and honor in the service of pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors who come from all over the world to perform their rituals.”
Meanwhile, the minister said new Umrah regulations have been referred to higher authorities for approval. He confirmed that the new regulation will serve all parties in Umrah including protecting the rights of companies and Umrah pilgrims. The regulation will create a qualitative change in the coming Umrah seasons.
Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Al-Hajjar said the increase in number of Umrah companies during the coming season is subject to the size of the market and the new controls guaranteed by the new expected regulation. But no decision in this regard has been taken yet. If there is need for increasing the number of Umrah companies they will be increased in the interest of Umrah pilgrims.
Al-Hajjar said field supervision teams have detected some violations by Umrah companies that accommodated Haj pilgrims in residences not having permits. Decisions have been issued to begin investigations and subject them to penalties according to the regulations.