Muslim pilgrims Makkah pilgrims 0121
File picture shows Muslim pilgrims praying as they watch thousands of other pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Image Credit: AP Photo/Amr Nabil

Dubai: Saudi Arabia said it opened more than 100 doors to the Grand Mosque in Mecca, one of Islam’s holiest sites, to facilitate the entry and exit of umrah pilgrims and worshipers, local media reported.

According to the General Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, the new doors were opened in coordination with the security authorities at the Grand Mosque to avoid overcrowding and any possible cases of suffocation.

On the first day of Ramadan, hundreds of thousands of worshipers thronged to the Grand Mosque in Mecca to perform the obligatory isha prayer and the voluntary taraweeh special prayers on the first night of the holy month of Ramadan on Friday.

The faithful performed prayers, standing shoulder to shoulder, without social distancing for the first time after a hiatus of two years since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The pilgrims and visitors from within the Kingdom and abroad welcomed the return to normal spiritual atmosphere.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques and other related agencies have started offering an integration of services for all worshipers. The presidency has already recruited approximately 12,000 male and female staffers who will work in four shifts.

The presidency made available a package of services, as well as field, preventive and operational measures aimed at providing a healthy and safe environment that helps worshipers perform their rituals in a safe spiritual atmosphere.