A pilgrim at Hajj in this file picture. Image Credit: Wikimedia

Dubai: Saudi Arabia has announced the largest percentage of pilgrims for this year’s Hajj will be coming from abroad, local media reported.

Citizens from all countries are allowed to participate in Hajj without any exception, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Hisham Saed stressed.

During an interview with Al Arabiya, Saed said that the decision to set aside the largest percentage for pilgrims from abroad was to give them the opportunity, especially after the two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kingdom will welcome Muslims from all countries of the world.

He added that there would be quotas allocated to each country for the number of pilgrims, which is a ratio of 1; 1000 - that is one Muslim for every 1,000 Muslims in the country - and this will be implemented in this year’s Hajj with the completion of health conditions.

He pointed out that the Kingdom is working to determine these quotas for different countries due to the fact that the holy sites in Mecca have legal and temporal limits that require performing rituals at a specific time and place.

To perform Hajj this year, citizens and residents are required to complete three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the spokesperson said, while noting that the definition of an immunised person in Saudi Arabia is one who has taken three vaccine doses.

The ministry clarified that this year’s Hajj will be conducted according to the following regulations:

1. This year’s Hajj is open to those who are under 65, and have received COVID-19 vaccinations approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health.

2. Pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom are required to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test result performed within 72 hours from the time of departure to the Kingdom.