Tuesday, January 26

Official spokesmen of Hajj-related government bodies brief reporters on preparations to help more than 2 million pilgrims settle in Mina valley tomorrow

Mina, suburb of Makkah, Official spokesmen of Hajj-related government bodies briefed reporters today on the preparations their authorities have made available for more than two million female and male pilgrims to stay the 8th of Zul-Hijja's night in Mina valley before moving early next day to Arafat mount to perform the peak of Hajj ritual.

Major General Mansour Al-Turki, security spokesman of the ministry of interior, said that the number of pilgrims exceeded two millions coming from inside and outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, drawing the attention that the final and correct number of those who exactly attended Arafat, the climax of this optional pillar of Islam, will be announced the next day to Arafat attendance, corresponding to the Eid Al-Adh-ha sacrifice day.

Speaking to reporters, jointly with other spokesmen of different Hajj-related governmental bodies at the Public Security headquarters in Mina this evening, Al-Turki said the first phase for all pilgrims, that's reaching Saudi Arabia from everywhere and by any means of transportation, was completed.

He said they used six different means of transportation, citing five airports in Saudi Arabia, representing 88 percent, with 6 percent out of them benefited from Makkah Road initiative which was launched this year from Kualalimpur, Malaysia, and Jakarta, Indonesia, where pilgrim travelers finished their entry procedures at the departure point, one percent arrived via Jeddah port, and six percent arrived through six land inlets.

He said 50% of pilgrims go directly to Al-Madinah Al-Munawara to visit the prophet before Hajj and 50% who come a bit late prefer to perform Hajj first before going to visit their prophet later. A pilgrim is usually advised to stay five days in Al-Madina to perform 40 prayers at the prophet's mosque as per the prophet's speech.

Al-Turki said the number of pilgrims reaching Hajj zones from inside the Kingdom are estimated at 240,000 including Saudis and expatriates who obtained Hajj permits as those who could not obtain Hajj permits were driven back, he said.

Source: Saudi Press Agency