A view of Kaaba, Islam's most important mosque, in Saudi Arabia. File photo
The UAE Cabinet adopted several decisions related to improving the work of the federal government, supporting various national sectors in minimising the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), pandemic, and facilitating their services provided to the public during the current crisis.
The cabinet adopted a decision to exempt Hajj and Umrah-related businesses from licence renewal fees from March 2020 to December 2020, and the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments will extend the validity of expired licences until this period.
The decision aims to reduce the burdens on the owners of Hajj and Umrah operators and implement the country’s policy related to the measures that aim to reduce the negative effects on the national economy of the current crisis.
The cabinet also adopted a decision related to re-structuring the Board of Directors of the Federal Tax Authority, under the chairmanship of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, for three years.
The cabinet then adopted an amendment related to membership in the UAE Council for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, after the merging of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Committee with the council under its current name.
The decision includes adding representatives of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and Ministry of Education, represented by Ahmed Youssef Al Nasser, Assistant Under-Secretary for National Human Resources, and Hamad Mohammed Al Yahyaei, Assistant Under-Secretary at the Curriculum and Evaluation Sector of the Ministry of Education.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency cited Saleh Bin Taher Banten's remarks in stories early on Wednesday, saying that Muslims should "be patient” in making their plans for the Hajj. The pilgrimage was expected to begin in late July this year.
The country of 30 million people recorded its first COVID-19 infection on March 2. Health authorities said in April the virus could eventually infect between 10,000 and 200,000 people in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom topped 50,000 cases on May 16.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), in collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority, DHA, has launched a massive campaign to ensure the health and safety of Hajj pilgrims.
Under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, and with the follow-up of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia officially launched on Tuesday the “Enriching Hajj & Umrah Experience” programme, one of the most important Vision 2030 programmes.
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