Some 250,000 pilgrims from around the world have arrived in Saudi Arabia to perform the Umrah.
They arrived at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport where they were provided with all the necessary services that would make their journey as smooth as possible.
Director of passports at the facility Suleiman Al-Yusuf told Asharq Al-Awsat that the worshippers have come from Europe, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, the United States and Arab countries.
He said the travelers began arriving five days before the start of Ramadan and their numbers would gradually increase.
Saudi Arabia expects to welcome over a million Umrah pilgrims during the holy month
The Kingdom has sought to provide all means at the disposal at the worshippers, whether at the airport or the two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah, Al-Yusuf added.
Moreover, he stressed that completing the passport procedures for the Umrah pilgrims takes no more than a minute at the Jeddah airport.
The Kingdom has employed all of its means and energy to serve the pilgrims. At King Abdulaziz International Airport, passport employees have been trained to learn different languages to facilitate communication with the arrivals.
The latest technologies are in place to provide electronic services that would speed up procedures.
Once they complete passport procedures, the pilgrims have several transportation options that would take them to Makkah. They can choose from buses, the Haramain train and other means.
The Haramain Highspeed Railway is one of the most important vital means of transport for pilgrims to and from Makkah.
Seeing as the number of pilgrims will increase, authorities have come up with crowd management plans at transportation hubs in Makkah.
As for the pilgrims’ stay in the Kingdom, they have several options based on their needs and means. Makkah alone boasts some 1,100 hotels, ranging from 1- to 5-star ratings, most of which are located around the Grand Mosque.
The hotels are regularly inspected for safety and other standards by the relevant authorities.
Hospitals and clinics are also prepared to receive pilgrims in case of any medical emergency. Ten hospitals and 82 health centers are ready to serve the pilgrims.