Monday 21st Jan 2019
The renowned Governor of Mecca, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, opened the “Mecca Cultural Forum” on Sunday, where he focused on improving the pilgrimage experience for those Muslims carrying out Hajj and Umrah.
The forum was named How to Develop Cities to Serve the Hajj and Umrah, the Governor said that “the Kingdom has made great strides forward in developing innovative, creative ways of improving pilgrimages, and now welcomed people from across the Islamic world ‘with a smile’ but now needed to do more, and not rest on its laurels.”
Mecca at peak times
The Prince took the occasion to announce four new initiatives as part of a move to modernize both Hajj and Umrah – as well as signing off on a number of smaller agreements between Mecca, a number of Saudi universities, and the ministries covering Islamic Affairs, Hajj and Umrah, to improve organization and experience of the pilgrimages.
Dr. Abdul Fattah bin Suleiman Mashat, deputy minister for Hajj and Umrah, was in attendance and stated that serving pilgrims was a key goal of the Saudi Royal Family “Since its inception, Saudi Arabia has served pilgrims; it is one of our most important founding principles. We aim to motivate Muslims and make it easier for them to perform the Hajj and Umrah rituals, and encourage investors to help serve pilgrims,” he said, going on to add that in all initiatives, sustainability in supporting “businesses, citizens and pilgrims” on Hajj and Umrah was paramount.
The great ceremony came to a close with the signing of nine agreements between private organizations and government agencies. Also included were agreements to finance “shaded” parking spaces and air-conditioned lounges to accommodate pilgrims.