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In 2018, the Saudi Interior Ministry relaunched the “Mecca Route” Initiative that gives pilgrims from several countries access to facilities including finalising Hajj-related procedures in their home countries. Image Credit: SPA

Cairo: More than 122,000 Bangladeshis will perform Hajj in Saudi Arabia this year, benefiting from a landmark project offering facilitated procedures to pilgrims from certain countries.

“The number of pilgrims from Bangladesh reaches 122,221. They will be covered by the ‘Mecca Route’ Initiative,” Saudi Ambassador in Bangladesh Issa Al Dahilan said.

In 2018, the Saudi Interior Ministry relaunched the “Mecca Route” Initiative that gives pilgrims from several countries access to facilities including finalising Hajj-related procedures in their home countries.

The initiative kicked off on a trial basis in 2017.

“The procedures have become more flexible and take less time,” Al Dahilan told Saudi TV Al Ekhbariya. “It takes the pilgrim 10 seconds only to finalise the procedures through 15 counters working round the clock,” he added.

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The “Mecca Route” applies this year to pilgrims from seven countries — Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Morocco, Bangladesh, Turkey and Cote d’Ivoire.

According to this project, facilities offered to pilgrims include issuance of electronic visas at home, finalising passport procedures as well as tagging and sorting out luggage at the departure airports.

On arrival in Saudi Arabia, those pilgrims head directly to their residences in Mecca and Medina while their luggage are delivered right to their residences.