Pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia for journey of a lifetime

Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, adviser to King Salman, governor of Makkah and chairman of Makkah Region Development Authority, has adopted the authority’s operational plan for Hajj 2018.

The plan aims to increase efficiency of projects overseen by the authority at the holy sites, especially the railway of the holy cities, the Jamarat facility, maintaining and operating toilets at the holy sites, monitoring the efficiency of Hajj services, and establishing a database for Hajj services.

Jalal bin Abdul Jalil Kaaki, spokesman for the Makkah Region Development Authority,

said that the plan was developed under the supervision of Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and followed up by Makkah’s deputy governor. It is in line with the new projects implemented by the authority at the holy sites this year, as well as existing projects. The authority will oversee operation of these projects to ensure pilgrims receive the best services.

Kaaki said the plan relies on constant and continuous coordination with all relevant authorities, especially those in the security sectors. The secretary-general of the authority, Hisham Al-Falih, is ensuring all relevant authorities work together to ensure the plan’s success.

He said the authority has deployed all its administrative and technical cadres, adding up to more than 14,000 employees along with more than 400 mechanisms to implement the operational plan. The authority set specified mechanisms to be implemented in the field, and made sure all projects are fully ready to serve pilgrims.

Kaaki added that this year’s operational plan includes supervising all projects for pilgrims at the holy sites, including the train that is expected to transport more than 350,000 pilgrims from Mina to Arafat and back. The train is set to transport a total of 2 million pilgrims during the Tashreeq days.

He said the plan for the Al-Jamarat facility focuses on its readiness to receive pilgrims to perform the ritual of “Ramy Al-Jamarat,” which means stoning the devil, as well as maintenance and operations-related projects. The plan also focuses on completing the necessary requirements to provide 36,000 toilets for use during Hajj.

Pilgrims in Madinah

In Madinah, pilgrims are being provided with all they need for their convenience and care, under the direct supervision of Prince Faisal bin Salman, governor of Madinah, and Prince Saud bin Khalid Al-Faisal, deputy governor of the region.

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Many pilgrims take the chance to tour mosques and archaeological sites related to the Prophet’s life and traditions, spending some nights in Madinah so that they can pray in the Prophet’s Mosque before leaving for Makkah and starting their Hajj pilgrimage.