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First hajj pilgrims to arrive in two weeks

Ministry of Hajj spokesman Hatem Qadhi said the first batch of Haj pilgrims are due to arrive in the Kingdom on Aug. 16, 2014

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Ministry of Hajj spokesman Hatem Qadhi said the first batch of Hajj pilgrims are due to arrive in the Kingdom on Aug. 16.

The pilgrims will arrive from South Africa and the ministry has approved all operational plans for the six Tawafa (Haj guidance) establishments in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah.

He added the ministry has also specified all Umrah (minor pilgrimage) visitors should leave the country by Aug. 11, noting the current season was successful and peaceful.

Meanwhile, nearly 80 percent of Umrah pilgrims have already left Makkah and the remainder are preparing to leave on schedule.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on Aug. 5, 2014.