Muslim Umrah pilgrims throng the courtyard around the Holy Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Image Credit: Source: Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

Cairo: Municipal authorities in Mecca said they have mobilised a legion of workers and a fleet of equipment to serve worshippers who usually throng the Saudi holy city during the Islamic sacred month of Ramadan.

Spokesman for the Mecca mayoralty Osama Zaytuni noted that the city, home to Islam’s holiest site, usually receives large numbers of visitors and pilgrims during Ramadan that require intensifying services.

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Therefore, the mayoralty has drawn up a programme during the season to cope with the expected influx of worshippers and provide efficient services covering cleaning, waste disposal and insect combat, the official told Saudi TV Al Ekhbariya.

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“The plan also includes monitoring stores and restaurants to ensure validity of the handled items as well as operating, maintaining and cleaning up the network of roads, tunnels and bridges,” he added.

Known as Saudi Arabia’s Holy Capital, Mecca has a large network of roads to ease traffic composed of 18,000 main and side streets, 58 tunnels and 70 bridges, according to the official.

Ramadan traditionally marks the peak season of Umrah or minor pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

Muslims abstain from eating and drinking every day from dawn to sunset during the lunar month of Ramadan expected this year to start on March 11.

After performing Umrah in Mecca, many pilgrims would head to the city of Medina to offer prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque, Islam’s second holiest site and visit other Islamic landmarks in the city.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia has introduced a host of facilities for Muslims wishing to come to the country to undertake Umrah.