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Tuesday, 07 August 2018 09:08

Over 700, 000 foreign pilgrims arrive for Haj


Over 700, 000 foreign pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia for Haj by Friday.

The General Directorate of Passports said the number of pilgrims who came by air, sea and land reached till Friday evening 719,385, which is an increase of 44,157, or 6 percent, over the same period last Haj.

According to the directorate 698 832 pilgrims came through King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah, 12,159 via land crossings and 8, 394 through the Jeddah Islamic Port and Rabigh Port.

Transport

The General Syndicate of Cars has prepared an integrated plan to transport more than 1.8 million pilgrims by 18,400 buses during this year's Haj, which will begin later this month.

The Syndicate stated that a fleet of modern and sophisticated transport buses have been provided by transport companies and institutions through 34 companies under the umbrella of the General Syndicate of Cars.

They will provide transportation for pilgrims to destinations in Makkah and Madinah, with GPS technology used to guide the buses and avoid delays and improve efficiency with frequent trip timings.

Meanwhile, the company operating the Mashaer Train has started test trips between Makkah and the holy sites in preparation for the Haj.

The company said the test runs will continue throughout day and night until the end of the month of Dhul Qada (August 11) to ensure the readiness of locomotives, cars, railway lines, the control system and the nine stations in the holy sites.

Inspection of tents

The Ministry of Haj and Umrah said it would dispatch teams to make field inspections of pilgrim tents in Mina and Arafat.

The ministry said the inspection tours in Mina would start on Dhul Hijja 6 (August 17) and in Arafat the next day.

According to the ministry, the inspection tours are aimed at making sure that all the tents are ready to receive the pilgrims and that all necessary services are provided to the guests of God.

Sacrifice

A number of Haj missions have signed agreements with the Islamic Development Bank to slaughter the sacrificial animals for their pilgrims by proxy. The meat from the sacrifice will be distributed among the poor people living in the Haram area of Makkah as well in 25 Asian and African countries.

Haj missions that have signed proxy agreements include, among others, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Pakistan.

Last year the Haj missions slaughtered a total of 420,000 heads of sheep and the number is expected to rise this year.

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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