The UAE has announced registration dates for Muslims proposing to perform the Hajj pilgrimage in 2024.
The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments said pilgrims can register through its app between December 5 and December 21.
Hajj, the Arabic word for pilgrimage, is one of the five pillars of Islam that form a foundation of life for Muslims.
All Muslims able to do so are required to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in their lifetime.
The annual pilgrimage to the holiest city in Islam takes place during Dhu Al Hijja, the last month of the Islamic calendar.
Next year's pilgrimage is expected to start in mid-June
The ritual translates as “to attend a journey”, and denotes both the outward act of physically travelling and the inward act of a person's contemplation of their faith.
Hajj is the most revered spiritual experience for devout Muslims – considered a chance to start afresh and celebrate the spirit of unity in Islam. Pilgrims are all required to perform the same rituals taught by the Prophet Mohammed, to remind them that they are all equal before God.
More than 1.8 million worshippers took part in the spiritual journey to Makkah last year – the largest number since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pilgrimage takes three days, but most pilgrims extend their stay by a week to pray in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.