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Saudi Arabia announces its full readiness for Hajj season

Muslim Hajj pilgrims perform morning prayer around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, located in the center of the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on 10 August, 2018 [Mustafa Çiftçi/Anadolu Agency]

Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that its Hajj organisations services had completed their preparations to provide services to pilgrims during the pilgrimage season this year.

The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) revealed the services it would provide, notably “the presence of more than 17 thousand civil defence officers and more than 3,000 mechanisms to deal with all threats to public safety.”

Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud, Governor of Makkah Province, said that “the Kingdom and all its governmental and civil institutions have harnessed all possibilities and equipment to offer service and comfort to the pilgrims,” according to the same source.

The plan has been prepared around the clock by dozens of medical staff in Al-Haram. More than 800 people from the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice have participated in the work of raising the awareness of pilgrims through 42 instruction centres in addition to translators of various languages.

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The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has adopted a plan to develop the free telephone service for Islamic awareness by increasing the number of lines to 45 in eight different languages ​​(Arabic, English, French, Turkish, Urdu, Hausa, Punjabi and Indonesian) and increasing the number of lines to 45 in Mina, 45 in Arafah and 40 lines in Muzdalifah.

According to SPA, 300 simultaneous calls can be received through 100 preachers and 27 interpreters at the same time.

The plan includes “interpretation of Jumu’ah Khutbah (public preaching) in the Two Holy Mosques to 10 languages”, the creation of 210 doors and 28 escalators at Masjid Al-Haram (The Great Mosque of Makkah), as well as the equipment of Sakia Zamzam Department with 660 large bottles in the same mosque.

The plan also includes the renewal of the “Kaaba cover on the ninth of Dhu Al-Hijjah”, and “the equipment of all the lines of electric feed exchange of the basic and reserve sound system.”

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The civil defence plan of this year’s season of Hajj includes “more than 17 thousand civil defence officers and more than 3,000 mechanisms to deal with all threats to public safety.”

In terms of hygiene, the number of workers has been increased to more than 13 thousand and 250 workers in Makkah and the holy places, to work 24 hours following a shift system.

The SPA revealed in recent statistics on Saturday the arrival of 926 thousand and 726 pilgrims to the Kingdom until the end of last Friday.

The Hajj season begins this year in early August.

During the previous Hajj season, the number of pilgrims reached to 2 million, 371 thousand and 675, according to final official statistics.

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