Cairo: Saudi Arabia has said that it will accept 31,600 Muslims from Malaysia to attend this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.
The figure was disclosed by Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al Rabeeah during his current visit to Malaysia, Saudi media reported.
Malaysia has presented a request to Saudi Arabia to increase its pilgrim quota starting from next year to cope with its population growth, Saudi news portal Sabq said, citing Malaysian Minister of Religious Affairs Na’im Mokhtar.
In a new step to facilitate Hajj procedures for overseas Muslims, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj has launched a training course in Malaysia to qualify workers dealing with pilgrims before their arrival in the kingdom, Okaz newspaper reported.
The course, the first of its kind, aims to upgrade quality of services offered to pilgrims and facilitate their journey.
More than 30 Hajj leaders attended the course held in Kula Lumpur.
Similar courses are planned in other countries in the period ahead, it added.
Hajj, one of Islam’s five obligatory duties, is due to start in late June this year in holy sites in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi authorities have said there will be no limits on the numbers of pilgrims from around the world for the upcoming Hajj season, reversing earlier restrictions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years.
In the past two years, Saudi Arabia downsized the numbers of Muslims allowed to perform the Hajj rites to prevent spread of COVID-19. Around 2.5 million Muslims used to attend Hajj annually in the pre-pandemic times.
Muslims, who can physically and financially afford Hajj, have to perform it at least once in a lifetime.