Thousands of Emiratis to make Hajj pilgrimage this week

Committee at Dubai International Airport aims to make pilgrims' journey to Saudi Arabia as smooth as possible

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Close to 4,600 Emiratis are expected to travel from Dubai International Airport to Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj pilgrimage this week, according to authorities.

The National paid a visit to DXB on Tuesday where authorities have joined forces to ensure smooth journeys for the thousands of UAE citizens making the trip this week.

A special committee of Dubai Police, immigration, customs, and health authorities, along with airline staff, has been established as the pilgrimage to Hajj coincides with the beginning of the busy summer travel season.

It was estimated that more than 3.7 million travellers will pass through DXB over the course of the next two weeks, state news agency Wam reported on Tuesday.

“Dubai Airport, in co-operation with different entities, is ready to welcome thousands of pilgrims. Everything is prepared for them to have a smooth experience inside the airport,” said Mohammed Al Marzouqi, head of the Hajj Committee at Dubai Airports. “There are special departure gates for Hajj flights in all terminals.”

Mr Al Marzouqi said that half of the 4,600 pilgrims had left already and the remaining would be making the journey up until Wednesday.

The annual Hajj pilgrimage will begin on June 14, with Eid Al Adha two days later.

The UAE's total allocation of pilgrims for this year is set at 6,200, with those not travelling from Dubai making their way from Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

Pilgrims were welcomed with dates, water, juice, sweet by volunteers at DXB, who were guiding them through the airport.

A medical team is on hand to offer free check-ups for pilgrims before boarding to the aircraft.

“We conduct free medical check-ups for pilgrims such as blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar level. We also give them advice on how to avoid dehydration during Hajj, as it's summer and they will encounter high temperatures,” said Mr Al Marzouqi.

“There will be wheelchairs for elderly pilgrims, as well as paramedic points in the airport. The measures put in place aim to enhance the comfort and convenience of the pilgrims.”

Mr Al Marzouqi urged all travellers to ensure they arrived at the airport in plenty of time, with Hajj taking place during the busy summer travel season.

“Pilgrims should arrive four hours before the flight time as the airport will be busy and there might be traffic on the way to the airport,” he said.

He said travellers should bring a passport that is valid for at least six months, Emirates ID, Hajj permit and vaccination card.

Making the pilgrimage

Millions of Muslims travel to Makkah to perform Hajj each year, with many also heading farther north to the city of Madinah.

All Muslims able to do so are required to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in their lifetime.

Hajj and the other four pillars of Islam form a foundation of life for Muslims.

The annual pilgrimage takes place during Dhu Al Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar, and lasts for about four to six days.

Eid Al Adha, will be on June 16, while Arafat Day, the second day of the week-long Hajj pilgrimage, falls on Dhu Al Hijjah 9 in the Islamic calendar. This corresponds with June 15.

The National spoke to some of the pilgrims making the journey through DXB.

“Hajj is a chance to seek God’s forgiveness for past sins and to grow closer to God,” said Mohammed Khalfan, 33, who was travelling with his wife and other family members.

“It is a deeply spiritual experience of a lifetime and I'm looking forward to it.

Yousef Abdullah Al Belooshi, 46, thanked the authorities for making the experience at the airport a straightforward one.

“The procedures are very smooth. They welcomed us with a smile and finished our papers quickly,” he said.

“It is my first time travelling for Hajj.”

Advice for pilgrims

Authorities at the airport have also issued advice for pilgrims making the journey:

  • Ensure that you have all the necessary documents with the required validity before reaching the airport.
  • Weighing luggage at home, checking documents in advance, and being prepared for security checks can save time at the airport.
  • Use the Dubai Metro to travel to and from the airport, to avoid traffic on the roads.
  • Friends and families using private vehicles are advised to use the airport’s designated car parks or valet service to receive their guests as access to the arrivals forecourt in Terminals 1 and 3 is limited to only public transport and other authorised airport vehicles.
  • Dubai Airports guests can access the customer contact centre on 04 224 5555, or email customer.care@dubaiairports.ae for further enquiries. They also can chat through Dubai Airports website, Facebook, Instagram and X platforms.
Updated: June 11, 2024, 2:41 PM