[Thousands of Hajj pilgrims from around the world have already arrived in Makkah and Madinah ahead of Hajj 2023 to be performed in the last week of the ongoing month.]
Makkah: Saudi Arabia had launched "Makkah Road Initiative" back in 2018. The initiative was tweaked and renamed as "Makkah Route Initiative" with a re-launch in 2019. The purpose is to make travel to Makkah easier and hassle-free.
The Initiative was originally launched in 2018 for the Haj pilgrims from Malaysia, Indonesia and some other countries. It was later extended to other countries with the latest being Turkey and Cote d’Ivoire.
Under this initiative, the first group of Hajj pilgrims from Turkiye arrived in Jeddah from Istanbul on June 07, 2023 whereas it was launched in Cote d’Ivoire at Abidjan International Airport on June 10, 2023.
Makkah Route Initiative began with ending the entry visas into Saudi Arabia from a pilgrim’s own country, at the airport where the originating flight takes off from, in collaboration with various related Saudi government agencies to facilitate pilgrimage arrangements and requirements.
The pilgrims who arrive under the Makkah Route initiative have their fingerprints taken and passports stamped at the pilgrims’ country of departure and their entry into Saudi Arabia is facilitated like a domestic flight while their baggage is sent to their places of residence through the Ministry of Haj.
The process begins with the issuance of electronic visas (e visa) and collection of vital information, followed by streamlined passport procedures in before departure for the Kingdom.
The Makkah Route initiative is offering coding and sorting of Hajj pilgrims’ luggage to ensure that it is delivered to their places of residence in Makkah and Madinah.
The procedure of coding luggage, which is being conducted in the initiative’s hall at the airports of the Hajj pilgrims by a specialized team under the supervision of Hajj and Umrah Ministry, starts with sorting the luggage and placing a label on each pilgrim’s baggage, according to SPA.
The label contains flight data, as well as information about the pilgrims and their places of residence.
In addition, a label will be placed on the cover of the passports and the pilgrims will be given a card containing the same information placed on their luggage.
Upon arrival to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah or in Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, the Hajj pilgrims will be directly transferred to the buses to transport them to their places of residence.
On arrival, Hajj pilgrims are directly transferred to the buses that will transport them to their place of residency in Makkah and Madinah with designated lanes, while the competent authority will deliver their luggage to their place of residency.
The Saudi Ministry of Interior is currently operating the Makkah Route Initiative in seven countries, which include Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Morocco, Bangladesh, in addition to Turkey and Ivory Coast, the two countries brought under the initiative for the first time for Hajj 2023.
The initiative saves Hajj pilgrims long hours of waiting before and on arrival in Saudi Arabia.
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