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Saudi Arabia boosts efforts to manage Umrah pilgrims influx as Ramadan end looms

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General view of Muslims performing evening prayers at the Grand Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia on March 31, 2024. — Reuters
General view of Muslims performing evening prayers at the Grand Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia on March 31, 2024. — Reuters

Muslims from all over the world have flocked to the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s Makkah, Islam’s holiest site, in big numbers for the Umrah pilgrimage as the month of Ramadan draws to an end.

However, this has led Saudi authorities to step up measures to control the flow of pilgrims during the last few days of Ramadan, when the Umrah pilgrimage reaches its peak, the Gulf News reported.

The General Authority for Care and Management at the Two Holy Mosques has increased services by employing thousands of qualified staff and cleaning labourers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, which is known as Saudi Arabia’s holy capital.

Umrah pilgrimage reaches its climax during last 10 days of Ramadan. — X/@maka85244532

The mosque has been equipped with over 25,000 prayer carpets, 50 pre-prayer ablution sites, 3,000 outer courtyard toilets, and 15,000 containers of Zamzam water, the Gulf News reported citing reports from the Saudi Press Agency.

Additionally, health authorities have also improved healthcare facilities with qualified personnel to provide services to those who need them at the mosque.

Ramadan marks the peak season of Umrah at the Grand Mosque, especially in the last 10 days of the lunar month.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has advised pilgrims to adopt cooperative behaviour to reduce congestion at the Grand Mosque.

This includes avoiding peak times, using public transport, and shifting to other mosques in Makkah for prayers when the Grand Mosque is full. 

The ministry also advised pilgrims not to repeat Umrah rites to give others the chance to undertake them.

Sheikh Dr Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, the chief of the Presidency of Religious Affairs at the Two Holiest Mosque, urged worshippers to follow instructions during the final days of Ramadan, cooperate with security, avoid crowding, and respect the sanctity of the holy place by dedicating themselves to worship.

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