Riyadh: The first batch of Sudanese Haj pilgrims arrived by sea via the ferry Amanah at Jeddah Islamic Port, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday.
The first batch consists of 1,519 female and male Haj pilgrims coming from Sudan. The pilgrims were presented with flowers, gifts and souvenirs upon arrival.
The head of the General Authority of Ports, Omar Hariri, said that the authority has taken all measures to enhance the readiness to receive the pilgrims of the Sacred House of God and visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque.
Measures to raise the levels of efficiency and performance for everything that would end the procedures for receiving, grouping and receiving luggage, and even their transfer to perform their rituals with ease and tranquillity, have also been taken.
The General Authority of Ports launched a package of development initiatives in line with the National Strategy for Transport and Logistics Services, and Saudi Vision 2030.
Where it worked on equipping 5 halls at the passenger terminal for arrival and departure and harnessing all services to facilitate the entry and docking of ships.
The Saudi ports have added 54 counters in the arrival hall inside the Jeddah Islamic Port, it has now reached 74 counters.
It also worked on facilitating the transfer of pilgrims from the ship docks to the arrival halls using the latest buses, and allocating sufficient numbers of luggage carts, while increasing the number of bus stops for departures to reach 19 buses, up from 8 buses in the past.
As of June 15, 2022, over 100,000 Hujjaj have arrived in the Kingdom.
On April 9, 2022, the ministry announced that one million international and domestic pilgrims will be given permission to perform Haj this year.
Eligible pilgrims this year must be under 65, fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and present a negative PCR test result of a sample collected within 72 hours from departure to the kingdom.
Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it. 2020 witnessed an exceptional season for Haj and in consideration of the “COVID-19” pandemic.
About 2.5 million Muslims from around the world used to attend Haj in Saudi Arabia every year before the pandemic.