Pilgrims are greeted upon arrival at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah. Image Credit: AFP

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports announced that a total of 532,958 pilgrims arrived in Saudi Arabia as of May 26 to perform Hajj.

Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said that the figure is that of pilgrims entering the Kingdom through all border crossings.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

A majority of pilgrims — 523,729 — arrived by air, 9,210 crossed land borders and 19 arrived by sea.

The directorate emphasised its commitment to facilitating a smooth arrival experience for all pilgrims.

Also read

As Saudi Arabia has maximised efforts to welcome pilgrims arriving for Hajj, worshippers are increasingly flocking to Islam’s holiest site in Mecca.

The state General Authority for Care and Management of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, Islam’s two most sacred places, have utilised all its human and technical resources to provide services of the highest standards for the faithful including welcoming and guiding them at the gates of the Grand Mosque.

The duty is done by 897 male and female employees at 89 gates of the holiest site, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.

Fifteen more gates are open on Fridays when worshippers head to the mosque en masse to perform the weekly congregational noon prayers.

Three gates are allocated for Umrah pilgrims, 50 more gates for worshippers showing up to offer prayers, additional 20 emergency gates as well as 16 indoor gates, according to a breakdown reported by SPA.

Worshippers are guided to the prayer places, and to substitute areas when these sites reach their maximum capacities to ensure smooth access to and from the Grand Mosque.

In a gesture of welcome, worshippers are scented with perfumes upon arrival.

With each gate bearing a designated number and a name, it is easy for worshippers to get an easy access to the sprawling mosque.

Moreover, supervisors are assigned to implement instructions banning the entry of luggage and food into the mosque, thus keeping the mosque clean and helping the faithful undertake rites and worship comfortably.

The Grand Mosque houses the Holy Kaaba that Muslims all over the world direct during prayers.