Emirates Hajj
Hajj pilgrims on the official UAE flight to receive special gifts. Image Credit: Emirates

Dubai: Ahead of this year’s Hajj season, Dubai’s flagship carrier, Emirates, is ramping up operations to Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah and Medina, the airline said in a statement on Monday.

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Emirates has deployed ten additional flights between June 7 and June 10 and between June 21 and June 26 to carry pilgrims to Jeddah and Medina, the airline said. These flights have been timed to meet the flight schedules from key Hajj markets, including Indonesia, Thailand, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritius, South Africa, Senegal, and Pakistan. Special flights are available for travellers holding a valid Hajj visa.

The additional flights are being operated alongside Emirates’ scheduled services to the two Saudi gateways and provide increased choices and options for thousands of travellers from across the airline's global network for pilgrims to carry out Hajj. The airline has further deployed 19 flights to cities including Amman, Dammam, Kuwait, and Beirut, among others, to meet high demand during Eid Al-Adha in mid-June.

Seamless journey

Emirates’ has said dedicated teams will guide pilgrims during their airport journey to ensure a seamless connecting process to their onward flights.

The Emirates statement explained that pilgrims will be met, greeted, and escorted by dedicated Emirates Airport Service personnel from arrival to departure. At the arrival gate, they will be met with signs, escorted to the connection desk for their onward journey, or directed to the Emirates Hotel Desk for hotel vouchers and bus transfers. Pilgrims' luggage will be tagged with special Emirates ‘Hajj’ baggage tags. Special gifts have also been organised for the official UAE Hajj flight set to depart from Dubai on June 11.

Onboard, the airline has also made provisions to accommodate those performing ablutions and is providing unperfumed towels and additional blankets. Special PAs advise passengers when they have entered Al Miqat zones (state of sanctity) and indicate the changing of Ihram robes.

Upon return, passengers can also check in for up to 5 litres of holy water (Zamzam), which will be placed in special areas in the cargo hold.

Emirates also said that pilgrims must be under 65 and hold a valid vaccination certificate with a vaccine authorised by the Saudi Ministry of Health.

As in previous years, Dubai Airports has set up a special check-in area for Hajj pilgrims flying out of Dubai. This includes dedicated check-in counters, passport control, and special departure gates. These services ensure Hajj pilgrims avoid the peak travel rush before the Eid Al Adha break and summer vacation.