Kingdom’s expansion projects, development of holy sites raise Hajj pilgrim numbers

SAUDI ARABIA

Hundreds of thousands of Hajj pilgrims listen to a first Friday sermon of Dul Hajjah at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. (SPA)

MAKKAH: Continuous expansion of the Two Holy Mosques and the holy sites, as well as the upgrading of services and infrastructure there, have played a significant role in increasing the number of pilgrims coming to perform Hajj in recent years.
“The Ministry of Culture and Information monitors quantitative and qualitative development to highlight the tremendous efforts made to serve pilgrims,” said the director of the operations room at the ministry, Abdulkhaliq Al-Zahrani.
The Kingdom is implementing huge projects aimed at raising the capacity of the mosques and developing Makkah, Madinah and all holy sites.
“The best witness to the efforts of the Kingdom is the tremendous development in the Jamarat bridge project and the surrounding area, and in Mina and Muzdalifah, and the expansion of the Jamarat complex, which consists of four floors in addition to the ground floor to accommodate nearly 4 million pilgrims,” Al-Zahrani said.
There is also rail transport for pilgrims from Muzdalifah and their tents in Mina to Jamarat bridge, as well as the creation of shaded bridges and well-ventilated tunnels.
Meanwhile, the General Command of Air Security has intensified air patrols in the skies over Makkah and Madinah, local media reported.
This implementation is part of the Hajj plan’s second phase, said Maj. Gen. Mohammed bin Eid Al-Harbi, the aviation security commander.
Al-Harbi said that the plan consists of several stages and the second phase will monitor the security situation and traffic, influx of pilgrims, and detect infiltration routes of pilgrims without permits.
He added that the second phase will also monitor human traffic in the central area of the Two Holy Mosques and the roads leading to them.
He added that “the flights are being increased to follow the security situation and to keep a close eye on the pilgrims’ movement during their overnight travel to Makkah.”

Categories: Arab World, Saudi Arabia

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