Pilgrims circle the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has issued a warning to pilgrims, worshippers and visitors to steer clear of praying in certain areas of the Grand Mosque to prevent overcrowding.

The Ministry has urged pilgrims to avoid praying in corridors, entrances, exits and paths of vehicles, emphasising the importance of adhering to the rules and regulations of the mosque.

According to the latest official statistics, the number of worshippers and pilgrims in the Grand Mosque in Mecca exceeded 1.4 million last Sunday, prompting the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques to equip mobile vehicles and hire supervisors to serve the pilgrims.

In an effort to prevent overcrowding, the General Presidency has opened several main entrances and exits in the Grand Mosque for worshippers. The entrances for the prayers area in the ground floor are numbered 87, 88, 89, 90, and 91. The entrances of the Ajyad Bridge and Salam are also numbered 91, while the Salam entrance is numbered 74 and 84. The Shubaika entrance is designated for the prayers area on the first floor and the roof.

Khalaf Bin Najr Al Otaibi, Director of worshippers’ grouping management, said that if the newly opened entrances and exits were filled, worshippers would be directed to move to the prayers area in the third Saudi expansion, as well as the ones located in the courtyards. The department diligently prepares the prayers area for the worshippers and coordinates with competent authorities to open the largest number of prayer areas, particularly during the month of Ramadan when the number of worshippers increases.