Hajj 2024: More than 1.2 million pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia

Free Wi-Fi is being provided to enable pilgrims to access important information

Worshippers gather around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. AFP
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More than 1.2 million pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia for Hajj, which begins on June 14, as authorities warned of temperatures exceeding 44ºC.

The Hajj Projects Office has co-ordinated with more than 50 state agencies to complete 300 initiatives in 2,600 locations to prepare for this year's Hajj season, Tawfiq Al Rabiah, the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, said.

Since the end of Hajj last year, Mr Al Rabiah and his team have visited 11 countries to discuss investment in projects to help pilgrims and address challenges.

Mr Al Rabiah said 250,000 pilgrims used the Makkah Route, which enables those travelling from 11 airports in seven countries to complete entry formalities for Saudi Arabia in their home airports, granting them a direct path to and from Makkah and Madinah.

The seven countries are Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Morocco, Bangladesh, Turkey and the Ivory Coast.

This year, the high temperatures will pose a challenge for pilgrims who are being told to stay hydrated and to take precautions against the hot weather.

“The expected climate for Hajj this year will witness an increase in average temperatures of one and a half to two degrees above normal in Makkah and Madinah,” national meteorology centre chief Ayman Ghulam told a press conference.

The forecast indicates “relative humidity [of] 25 per cent, rain rates close to zero, average maximum temperature [of] 44ºC”, he said.

Other provisions being made include free Wi-Fi at the Al Anaim and Al Hal mosques in Al Ji'rannah areas, as well as Qarn Al Manaqil and Wadi Muharram miqats, or entry points for pilgrims.

Pilgrims will also be able to access smart services provided by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, including the Islamic Library's collection of 3,000 legal and scientific materials available in more than 45 languages.

They will also be able to find quick answers to common questions, as well as instructional videos.

Updated: June 07, 2024, 12:30 PM