Middle East

Jeddah, Jul 26: The city of Makkah is opening its arms again to welcome pilgrims for the annual Hajj — although only a handful compared with previous years.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event is limited to about 1,000 pilgrims, all from inside Saudi Arabia, about 700 of whom are expatriates.

Abdullah Al-Kathiri, an Emirati and...

Beirut, Jul 23: The pandemic will exact a heavy toll on Arab countries, causing an economic contraction of 5.7% this year, pushing millions into poverty and compounding the suffering of those affected by armed conflict, a U.N. report said Thursday.

The U.N.'s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia expects some Arab economies to shrink by up to 13%,...

Abu Dhabi, Jul 23: Muslims in the United Arab Emirates have been asked to perform Eid Al-Adha prayers at home even as mosques will be allowed to operate at an increased capacity of 50 percent from Aug. 3.

Mosques in the UAE have been operating at 30 percent capacity after they reopened on July 1.

Announcing the move,...

Riyadh, Jul 22: Saudi King Salman held a cabinet meeting via video call from hospital in the capital Riyadh on Tuesday, a day after the 84-year-old monarch was admitted with inflammation of the gall bladder.

Three Saudi sources said the king was in stable condition.

A video of the king chairing the meeting was broadcast on Saudi state...

Dubai, Jul 22: Saudi Arabia's Minister of Haj and Umrah, Dr Muhammad Saleh Benten, has inspected the facilities and arrangement made for the Haj pilgrims in Makkah and the holy sites.

Speaking to the Saudi Press Agency after the tour, the minister said that the Saudi government has worked out unprecedented plans for the running of this year's Haj,...

Riyadh, Jul 20: Saudi Arabia's King Salman has been admitted to a hospital in the capital, Riyadh, for medical tests due to inflammation of the gallbladder, the kingdom's Royal Court said Monday in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The statement said the 84-year-old monarch is being tested at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital. The brief...

Abu Dhabi, Jul 20: The United Arab Emirates launched its first-ever interplanetary Hope Probe mission to Mars from Japan's Tanegashima Space Centre at 01:58 a.m. (local time) on Monday.

"United Arab Emirates (UAE) launches its first mission to Mars, the 'Hope Mars Mission' from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center," UAE Space Agency said on its Twitter page.

The spacecraft...

Occupied Jerusalem, Jul 19: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial resumed on Sunday.

Netanyahu is charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in a series of scandals in which he is alleged to have received lavish gifts from billionaire friends and exchanged regulatory favors with media moguls for more agreeable coverage of himself and his family....

Kuwait City, Jul 19: Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah has successfully undergone surgery early on Sunday, the emir's office said.

"His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah ... has undergone surgery this morning, with thanks to God for its success," the head of the emir's office Sheikh Ali Jarrah al-Sabah said, as quoted by state...

Dubai, July 18: An NRI student who passed away in Dubai shortly after shortly after attempting his Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Grade 12 papers in March, has scored an impressive 91.4 per cent on his board examinations, including 100 in his media studies paper.

Ahmed Ziyad, a student of GEMS Our Own Indian School in...