Makkah: About seven million Umrah pilgrims are expected to arrive during the remaining two weeks of Shaaban and during the fasting month of Ramadan. They will be served by thousands of employees who want to guarantee the pilgrims’ safety and comfort in Makkah and Madinah, Arab News reported Monday.
Umrah pilgrims come through various entrypoints, the most important ones being King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah.
The kingdom uses all its powers to receive the pilgrims and facilitate all procedures until they reach Makkah and Madinah.
Mohammad Bejawi of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Madinah said that Egypt ranked first in terms of the grant of Umrah visas this year with 1,275,785 visas.
Pakistan came second with 918,063 visas; Indonesia third with 655,163 visas, followed by India with 436,000 visas; Turkey with 439,000, Jordan with 343,000, Algeria 313,000, Malaysia 211,000, Iraq 183,000, and Britain with 77,000. He noted that there were 695,000 coming from several other countries.
Abdul Wahid Al-Hattab of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques reviewed the operational plan for Umrah season, which includes plans for 5,000 employees in cooperation with all service directorates.
He said the presidency offers cool Zamzam water inside the Prophet’s Mosque and Grand Mosque. He confirmed that prayer areas have been laid with good quality carpets inside and on the roof of the two mosques and that the areas are kept clean around the clock.
He said the Prophet’s Mosque’s yards have been provided with 436 fans to offer cool surroundings and 250 shades to protect pilgrims from the heat of the sun.
He pointed out that 100 gates and six pedestrian paths have been allocated to worshippers in addition to 20 carts for the elderly and the disabled.