Saudi Arabia reintroduces plan for Hajj facilities

Saudi Arabia reintroduces plan for Hajj facilities By A Robin - June 06, 2022
Hajj pilgrims

Hajj pilgrims

Saudi Arabia has revived an initiative offering facilities to Muslims coming from several countries to perform Hajj as the kingdom is allowing foreign pilgrims this year to attend the annual pilgrimage rituals after lifting coronavirus-related restrictions.

The Saudi Interior Ministry has announced relaunching the “Mecca Route” initiative that gives pilgrims from five countries access to facilities including finalising Hajj-related procedures in their home countries.

The initiative includes pilgrims from Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Morocco and Bangladesh.

Facilities offered to pilgrims coming from these countries include issuance of electronic visas at home, finalising passport procedures as well as tagging and sorting out luggage at the departure airports.

Accordingly, on arrival in Saudi Arabia, those pilgrims head directly to their residences in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina while their luggage are delivered right to their stay places.

The first batch of foreign pilgrims for this year’s Hajj landed in Saudi Arabia on Saturday from Indonesia. They arrived in Medina aboard a flight carrying 358 pilgrims.

The arrivals were received by Saudi officials at the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz in Medina where they were given flowers, palm dates and bottles of the holy Zamzam water in a gesture of welcome.

In April, Saudi Arabia said it would allow 1 million pilgrims from inside and outside the kingdom to perform this year’s Hajj due in July, after restricting the annual ritual to some thousands of Muslims living inside the country for the last two years due to COVID-19 outbreak.

Eligible pilgrims this year must be under 65, fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and present a negative PCR test result of a sample collected within 72 hours from departure to the kingdom, according to Saudi authorities.

Around 2.5 million Muslims from around the world used to attend Hajj in Saudi Arabia every year before the pandemic.


By A Robin - June 06, 2022

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