Madinah: Madinah - the Prophet’s City is teeming with over hundred thousand pilgrims arriving here to pay their respect to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and pray at his mosque. So far, the number of pilgrims has increased by about nine percent over their number the same time last year, according to a report released by the General Administration for Haj and Umrah (GAHU).
The report said since the beginning of the Haj season until Tuesday, some 109,428 pilgrims have arrived in the Prophet’s City, according to Saudi Gazette.
It said a total of 311 flights from various parts of the world carrying 103,123 pilgrims landed at Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport while 6,305 pilgrims arrived by road aboard 158 buses.
The airport is well prepared to receive the pilgrims. It has as many as 100 Passports Department counters to complete the entry procedures of the guests of God smoothly and quickly.
The airport has four spacious lounges to receive the pilgrims in addition to the main arrival lounge.
According to the report, there are 30,110 Indian pilgrims representing the largest number of visitors followed by pilgrims from Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Afghanistan.
There are more than 353,000 beds in 581 hotels and furnished apartments to accommodate the pilgrims.
The report, however, revealed that the occupancy of these beds is so far less than 31 percent and said there are sufficient rooms to accommodate all the visiting pilgrims.
It said about 200 visitors who lost their way inside the mosque and 824 outside it were guided to their accommodation places. More than 600 aged or pilgrims of special needs were transported by wheel chairs in the mosque.
The report said health care services were extended to 4,425 pilgrims, representing about four percent of the visitors, in various government hospitals and health centers in Madinah.
More than 185,000 rooms in luxurious hotels in Makkah have been earmarked for accommodating pilgrims. Besides, several furnished apartments and other buildings are housing the pilgrims.
Hotels, buildings and furnished apartments in Makkah can accommodate more than 1.6 million pilgrims. The majority of the buildings are in Al-Aziziyah District which the pilgrims usually prefer due to its nearness to Mina.
Meanwhile, the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques on Wednesday announced that the Ka’ba kiswa (dress) will be rolled up by three meters next week to keep it clean. A number of pilgrims often prefer to touch the kiswa for blessing.