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over half a million hajj pilgrims reach saudi arabia

JEDDAH: As of May 26, Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports reported that 532,958 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom to perform Hajj.

This number includes those entering through all border crossings, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The majority of these pilgrims—523,729—arrived by air, while 9,210 crossed land borders, and 19 arrived by sea. The directorate reiterated its commitment to ensuring a smooth arrival experience for all pilgrims.

In related news, Saudi Arabia has significantly increased its efforts to accommodate the influx of worshippers to Mecca, Islam’s holiest site. The General Authority for Care and Management of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque has deployed extensive human and technical resources to provide high-standard services to the faithful. This includes welcoming and guiding worshippers at the Grand Mosque’s gates.

A total of 897 male and female employees are stationed at 89 gates of the Grand Mosque, with an additional 15 gates open on Fridays for the weekly congregational noon prayers. Specific gates are allocated for different groups: three gates for Umrah pilgrims, 50 for general worshippers, 20 emergency gates, and 16 indoor gates, as reported by SPA.

Worshippers are directed to prayer areas and substitute locations when these sites reach capacity, ensuring smooth access to and from the Grand Mosque. Upon arrival, worshippers are welcomed with scented perfumes, and each gate is clearly numbered and named for easy navigation. Supervisors also enforce regulations prohibiting luggage and food inside the mosque, maintaining cleanliness and allowing the faithful to perform their rites comfortably.

The Grand Mosque, which houses the Holy Kaaba, remains the focal point for Muslims worldwide during their prayers.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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