“Makkah and Madinah are eagerly awaiting you.” Saudi Arabia announces the arrival of the first pilgrims for this year

Yesterday, Sunday, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj announced the arrival of the first flight of pilgrims this year, and the news received interaction on social media.

And the ministry led – in a tweet through its documented account on Twitter – with the arrival of the first flight of pilgrims in the year 1444 AH, and attached a set of pictures of pilgrims wearing their white clothes, amid joy on their faces.

The Saudi Press Agency stated that the first flights of the pilgrims benefiting from the “Makkah Route” initiative in Bangladesh arrived yesterday, Sunday, at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, coming from the initiative hall at Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport in the capital, Dhaka.

It is noteworthy that the Makkah Road initiative is one of the initiatives of the Ministry of Interior, and it aims to complete the procedures of the pilgrims from their countries, so that they reach their place of residence directly after their arrival in the Kingdom.

In a related context, the Ministry of Hajj announced the launch of the media identity for this year's Hajj season under the slogan # Permit the people, in reference to the words of God Almighty: {And proclaim to the people the pilgrimage, they will come to you on men and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep valley.}

Under the announcement of this inauguration, she wrote through her Twitter account, the hashtag (hashtag) # Makkah_and_Madinah_waiting_with_eagerness.

On the ninth of last February, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al-Rabiah announced, during a press conference, that his country expects to host more than two million pilgrims during the 2023 Hajj season.

And on his Twitter account, Al-Rabiah said: "Welcome to the guests of the Most Gracious, with the beginning of the month of Dhul-Qa'dah, we receive the first pilgrims for the year 1444 AH. May God accept from us and from you the good deeds," and attached the tweet with two pictures of the first arrivals.

For his part, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for Visitation Affairs in Madinah, Muhammad bin Abd al-Rahman al-Bijawi, said, "To you, O God, to you. Welcome to the guests of the Most Merciful, the visitors of the Prophet's Mosque. May God accept from you, and grant us all success to serve you."

Lifting COVID-19 restrictions

It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had said, at the beginning of this year, that the Kingdom would cancel “Covid-19” restrictions in the 2023 Hajj season, and would host numbers of pilgrims comparable to what it was before the spread of the pandemic, pointing out that the Kingdom will not impose any restrictions. Restrictions, including age requirements, this season.

Over the years, the kingdom has spent billions of dollars to make the pilgrimage sites – which witness one of the largest religious gatherings in the world – safer.

A Saudi plan aims to increase the capacity of Umrah and Hajj to reach 30 million people annually, and obtain revenues of 50 billion riyals ($13.32 billion) by 2030.

Before the pandemic, about 19 million Muslims performed Umrah annually.

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