Saturday, 20 October 2012
More than 1.3 million foreigners arrive for Haj
Islam requires all physically fit and financially able Muslims to perform Haj at least once in their lives, Morocco’s King Mohammad, flanked by his brother Prince Moulay Rashid, performs Umrah on Wednesday. The Moroccan monarch was in Saudi Arabia on the first leg of a tour that will take him to Jordan and three other Gulf countries.
Manama: One week before the start of the Haj (pilgrimage) rituals, the number of foreign Muslims who arrived in Saudi Arabia reached 1,357,038, the head of passports said.
“According to our statistics up to the end of Tuesday, 1,257,994 arrived by air, 83,840 on land and 15,204 by sea,” Salem Bin Mohammad Al Belaihid, said.
More than two million non-Saudis, mainly Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) citizens who tend to make the trip on the last two days before Haj starts, are expected to arrive in the kingdom.
The visitor numbers will be boosted by the one million people living in Saudi Arabia who will perform Haj.