3.7 million Umrah pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia

According to the statistics, 2.6 million pilgrims have arrived via King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah

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Saudi’s Emir of Makkah Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who is the chairman of the Central Haj Committee, has called for combining efforts to provide consummate services to the guests of God during the next Hajj season.

He made the call during a meeting of the committee at the Governorate headquarters in Makkah on Sunday. The meeting reviewed a report about the previous year’s Hajj season with a view to avoiding any mishaps during the next Hajj season.

The committee was informed that so far about 3.7 million pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia since the Umrah season started late October 2015 until April 2, 2016.

According to the statistics, 2.6 million pilgrims have arrived via King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, about 740,000 through Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah and about 200,000 through land inlets.

Meanwhile Al-Faisal on Sunday opened the confluence on “quality and distinction of municipal services” which was organized by the Makkah municipality.

Mayor Osama Albar said the forum would discuss the best methods of offering top-class civic services within the drive to make Makkah one of the top 10 cities in municipal services in the world.

He said the participants will exchange expertise on further promoting the performance of the municipality, which was the first municipality in the Kingdom to obtain the ISO 9001 certificate.

Meanwhile, the dismantling of the temporary mataf (circumambulation of the Holy kaaba) which was constructed about three years ago began on Sunday by cutting off electricity, disconnecting the fans and closing its two floors before pilgrims and visitors could arrive.

The makeshift bridge was installed to provide more space for circumambulation seven times around the Kaaba to substitute the areas, which have been occupied by the expansion project of the Grand Mosque.

The expansion project has continued for three years with each phase taking about a year to complete. The Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques has prepared assembly points inside the Grand Mosque to collect the demolished parts of the temporary bridge so as to be removed to warehouses, which are away from the mosque.

This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Apr. 05, 2016.

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