Mecca buses
The Mecca buses are marked by being modern, environmentally friendly and resistant to carbon emissions. Image Credit: X@MakkahBuses

Cairo: Around 21,000 buses are being readied to serve Muslim pilgrims during the upcoming annual Hajj season in Saudi Arabia, a car union has said.

Spokeswoman for the Saudi General Syndicate of Cars Ruba Al Ghusn said the union aims to transport around 2 million pilgrims this year.

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“The number of buses for this has reached until now 21,000 buses from 65 companies,” she told Saudi news TV Al Ekhbariya.

“We qualify these companies by laying out operational plans and making sure that these buses are well-prepared,” she added.

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Saudi Arabia has embarked on early preparations for this year’s Hajj due in June and launched associated operations earlier this month.

Nearly 2 million pilgrims from around the world last year performed Hajj in and around the Saudi holy city of Mecca, marking the return of their numbers to pre-pandemic levels.

Saudi Arabia has already set rules for this year’s Hajj.

According to these rules, no specific places would be allotted for countries at the holy sites in the new Hajj season.

Instead, places for different countries will be designated depending on finalising contracts.

“The country that concludes early contracts will be given the priority in taking the appropriate places in the holy places,” Saudi Ministry of Hajj Tawfiq Al Rabiah has said.

The issuance of Hajj visas will commence on March 1 and end on the 20th of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar corresponding to April 29.

The arrival of Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia will begin on the first day of Dhul Qaidah, the 11th Islamic month, corresponding to May 9.

The new mechanism is geared towards facilitating preparations for Hajj, an obligatory Islamic duty.