Half a Million Pilgrims Arrive in Makkah, Madinah

MAKKAH – About half a million Muslim pilgrims have arrived in Makkah and Madinah for hajj, pouring in from around the world to perform the life-time journey.

The figure, 7 percent higher  than last year, was revealed by Gulf News on Wednesday, August 1.

Meanwhile, the Makkah Development Authority has distributed more than 2 million awareness leaflets in nine languages on how to use the Mashaer Train and how to reach the Jamarat area easily.

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The train will transport pilgrims from Makkah to Madinah and back via Jeddah.

The company operating the Haramain Express Train announced that it has stopped the free test runs and will officially launch the commercial service in September.

On the other hand, Saudi health officials vowed to ensure epidemic-free hajj season, taking health measures to ensure the safety of pilgrims.

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The Haj rituals, due in mid-August, is being managed with tight security and health measures to ensure the safety of pilgrims, Al Arabiya reported, quoting the Ministry of Health.

The ministry is also following the developments and changes in the global health situation in cooperation with the World Health Organization and other international health bodies.

Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Hajj consists of several rituals, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them.

Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform hajj at least once in a lifetime.