Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

1.54m Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's General Directorate of Passports announced on Tuesday (June 11) that 1,547,295 pilgrims had arrived in the kingdom for the Hajj season of 1445 AH. 
This figure includes all pilgrims entering the kingdom through air, land, and sea ports until the end of Monday (June 10), it said.
The arrival data revealed that 1,483,312 pilgrims arrived via air travel, while 59,273 pilgrims entered through land ports. Sea ports received a total of 4,710 pilgrims.
The directorate emphasised its commitment to facilitating the entry process for all pilgrims. This commitment is reflected in the deployment of the latest technological advancements at international ports alongside a team of highly qualified multilingual personnel to ensure a smooth experience for all arriving for Hajj.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance continues to receive pilgrims as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' Guests Programme for Hajj and Umrah Visit. Ninety-five pilgrims arrived at their hosting headquarters in Makkah, bringing the total number of pilgrims received to 1,170 from 80 countries across different continents. The ministry offers integrated services to facilitate the Hajj journey.
The ministry will continue to receive the remaining groups of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' Guests Program guests in the coming days. These delegations consist of 3,322 pilgrims from 88 countries across various continents who were hosted by Royal Decree.
One of the pilgrims is Ismael Maysounah from Ghana. He had come to Makkah in 2013 for the purpose of performing Hajj but was unable to make it as he became ill. Over the past 10 years, Maysounah was sad for being unable to perform Hajj and was  praying for the chance to make it.
Recently, he received a call from Saudi Arabia's embassy in Accra informing him that he had been chosen to perform this year’s Hajj under the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Programme.
Ismael extended his thanks and gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for hosting him in the programme and granting him the privilege to perform Hajj, thanking the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance for their hospitality and generosity, a Saudi Press Agency report said.