Over one million pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia for Hajj: Minister

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The number of pilgrims who have arrived in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj rituals has reached approximately 1.2 million, the Kingdom’s Hajj and Umrah Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah said on Thursday.

Speaking at a press conference on Hajj, al-Rabiah highlighted that Saudi Arabia has initiated an international campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of fake Hajj campaigns.

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The minister emphasized the importance of pilgrims adhering to regulations and cooperating with relevant authorities. He also noted that facilities at the Holy Sites have been upgraded to enhance the pilgrim experience. These improvements include the installation of overhead umbrellas that cool the air with mist, reducing temperatures, courtesy of the largest air cooling station in the world.

Al-Rabiah also mentioned enhancements in escalator efficiency to ease access to the sites where pilgrims perform the ritual of throwing stones at pillars symbolizing the devil.

He also explained that the electronic submission process for Hajj applications has been streamlined, eliminating the need for intermediary tourist offices and ensuring that pilgrims receive the agreed-upon services. This service is available in 126 countries, and over 120,000 workers and leaders of pilgrimage groups have been trained to implement it, according to the minister.

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The Hajj, which begins on June 14, is one of the five pillars of Islam and must be undertaken at least once by all Muslims who have the means to do so.

It involves a series of rites completed over four days in Mecca and its surroundings in the west of Saudi Arabia.

Last year, more than 1.8 million Muslims participated in Hajj, according to official figures.

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