Umrah mecca saudi
Muslim worshippers perform the Umrah pilgrimage walk between the Marwa and Safa hills at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca on March 23, 2023 on the first day of the fasting month of Ramadan. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Mecca and Medina are witnessing an unprecedented number of foreign pilgrims and visitors this year, with over 1.3 million present in the two holy cities, according to the Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah.

Speaking at the first edition of the Manafea Forum, Al Rabiah noted the significant improvements in facilities and services being provided to worshipers, thanks to the tremendous efforts being made to enrich their experience. He also highlighted the ancient history of the holy cities, which visitors can now enjoy with over 100 historical sites available for exploration.

The Manafea Forum, held under the patronage of Prince Khaled Al Faisal and organised by the Mecca Chamber of Commerce and Industry, aims to contribute to achieving the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and ‘Guests of God Service Programme’.

The forum brought together experts, decision-makers and business leaders to enhance cooperation and integration between the government and private sectors and support the status of Mecca and Medina as centres of attraction for business activities in the Islamic world. With more than two million pilgrims expected to come to the Kingdom to perform Hajj this year, expected to begin in June-end, the ministry’s mammoth system to serve Hajj and Umrah pilgrims is going on well, the minister said.