Hajj pilgrims perform the Farewell Tawaf
Image Credit: SPA/Twitter

Dubai: Ahead of the upcoming Hajj season, Saudi Arabia has urged the over 1.2 million pilgrims from across the globe to refrain from raising any political slogans while at the holy sites.

Tawfiq Al Rabiah, Minister of Hajj and Umrah, emphasized that Hajj is a time for worship and not for political expression, adding that the Kingdom is committed to ensuring a serene and reverent atmosphere, allowing all pilgrims to perform their rituals with comfort.

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During a press conference that detailed the preparations for the upcoming season, Minister Al Rabiah noted the high level of adherence to these guidelines in past seasons and reiterated the leadership's commitment to maintaining the sanctity and tranquillity of the Hajj.

He stressed that the focus should be on spirituality and reverence, avoiding any disturbances that could detract from the peaceful atmosphere.

Dr Al Rabiah emphasised the importance of cooperation from all pilgrims and adherence to regulations to ensure a smooth Hajj experience. He highlighted the early and meticulous planning efforts, including a review of previous challenges and innovative solutions to enhance services, aligning with the objectives of Vision 2030.

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The ministry initiated preparations right after the previous Hajj season, establishing the Hajj Project Management Office to collaborate with over 50 government agencies, overseeing the implementation of comprehensive plans across numerous locations.

Dr Al Rabiah also noted the proactive measures taken to facilitate the Hajj experience for international pilgrims, including diplomatic missions that resulted in a significant increase in Umrah visas.

The Mecca Route Initiative, led by the Ministry of Interior, has successfully streamlined the arrival process for hundreds of thousands of pilgrims through multiple international airports. Extensive training has been provided to over 120,000 workers and leaders to ensure top-tier hospitality and services.

Improvements in service systems include increasing competition among Hajj service companies and implementing direct electronic registration to eliminate intermediaries, enhancing transparency and satisfaction among pilgrims. The ministry has also developed a unified electronic portal and the "Nusuk" application, offering a wide range of digital services to domestic pilgrims.