Local inspectors walk in a popular market in Mecca in a file photo. Image Credit: Saudi news agency SPA

Dubai: Saudi Arabia has imposed a ban on unauthorised vehicles from entering Mecca and the holy sites, local media reported.

According to Public Security Spokesperson Brigadier Sami Al Shuwairekh, traffic police have been positioned at the entry points of Mecca to prevent vehicles without permits from entering the city and the holy sites.

Al Shuwairekh clarified that licensed pilgrim-carrying transport vehicles and cars of authorized supervisors and employees are exempt from the ban.

The ban enforced every year at entry points to the holy city, applies to all modes of transport including cars, buses and trucks. 

The Hajj season began on July 1, marking the first post-pandemic pilgrimage season after two years of major disruption caused by COVID-19.

Wrapped in white robes, with some carrying umbrellas against the burning sun, thousands performed the first ritual of the Hajj, which involves walking in a circle around the Kaaba, the sacred building at the centre of Mecca’s Grand Mosque.