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New Pilgrims Halls Launched at Makkah’s Grand Mosque

Amid COVID-19 health restrictions on Umrah, Saudi Arabia has launched new waiting facilities for pilgrims as part of a new expansion to the Haram to avoid over-crowding.

The new halls can accommodate about 2,000 pilgrims at one time.

Pilgrims will use these halls when tracks for the tawaf (circumambulation) around the Holy Ka`bah become full of worshippers, Gulf News reported.

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“The halls were opened to facilitate the process of assembling the Umrah pilgrims in groups and directing them to the waiting halls,” head of the Pilgrim Grouping Directorate at the Grand Mosque, Eng. Osama Al Hejeili, said.

“This aims to protect worshippers’ safety and help them perform their rituals smoothly and easily,” he added.

The capacity of the Grand Mosque has increased to reach 50,000 Umrah pilgrims and 100,000 worshippers per day for the month of Ramadan.

Last month, the Saudi government announced that there would be no iftar gatherings or I`tikaf at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah during Ramadan.

Saudi resumed performing the Umrah in October. Numbers increased later to accommodate pilgrims from abroad.