Hajj 2023: More than 150,000 pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia

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More than 150,000 pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia via the ‘Makkah Route’ initiative ahead of the upcoming Hajj season, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Monday.

The pilgrims were greeted with flowers, dates, Zamzam water, and more.

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Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)

Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, is expected to begin on June 26 – pending an official announcement by authorities. This year’s pilgrimage will see about 2.6 million Muslims come together to perform the Islamic ritual for the first time since COVID-19.

The ‘Makkah Route’ initiative was implemented to provide services to pilgrims coming from Morocco, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Côte d’Ivoire.

Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)

Under the initiative, the pilgrims’ entry procedures are completed from their home countries, from the issuance of e-visas and the collection of required documents, to streamlined passport procedures when they arrive in Saudi Arabia, according to SPA.

Authorities ensure the procedures are completed quickly after checking off the health requirements, and coding and sorting luggage according to transportation and accommodation arrangements in the Kingdom, SPA reported.

Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)

Special buses have been allocated to take the pilgrims directly to their accommodation in Mecca and Medina, with designated tracks, while service agencies deliver their luggage directly to them.

Earlier this June, Saudi Arabia unveiled the largest ever Hajj operation plan ahead of the pilgrimage season as restrictions on the number of pilgrims were lifted.

A record-breaking 14,000 staff members and more than 8,000 volunteers will be deployed on the ground to help the millions of Muslims who are expected to partake in Hajj.

Read more:

Saudi Arabia unveils largest ever Hajj operational plan as COVID restrictions lifted

Hajj season 2023: Saudi security officials meet to ensure safe, smooth pilgrimage

Pilgrims begin arriving in Saudi Arabia for Hajj season

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