A total of 656,748 Pilgrims Arrive in Saudi Arabia to Perform Hajj Rituals

Riyadh, 25 Dzulqa’dah 1437/28 August 2016 (MINA) – The Saudi General Directorate of Passports has said in a statement that the number of pilgrims coming from abroad to perform Hajj rituals reached 656,748 Friday.

According to SPA, the number of pilgrims arriving by air reached 641,896; by land 7,748; and by sea 7,104.

Some 3.1 million pilgrims performed the Hajj in 2012, the largest number ever recorded, most of them from abroad.

The authorities had decided to reduce by half the number of pilgrims coming from within Saudi Arabia, and by about 20 percent those from abroad.

This is an exceptional and temporary decision, pending the completion of expansion project at the Masjid Al Haram, aimed at enabling pilgrims to complete their Haj and Umrah rites with ease.

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The Mataf [the circumambulation areas around the Kaaba, the heart of Al Masjid Al Haram] will also see expansion.

Under the current arrangement, two major Muslim countries, Indonesia and Pakistan, will dispatch pilgrims only as many as 168,000 and 143,000 respectively.

The amount is the same as the number of pilgrims in the previous year, after abiding by the set percentage. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)