Minister of Pilgrimage Iyad Madani reports that his ministry will deploy some 40,000 officials and workers to organize this year’s Hajj, which is scheduled to start on January 30. More than 1.8 million pilgrims, he said, are expected to perform the 1424 pilgrimage, including 1.3 million from abroad.
At a press conference today after inspecting facilities to receive pilgrims at King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah, Minister Madani urged all those participating in the Hajj to ensure cleanliness by keeping their surroundings neat and tidy, announcing the slogan ‘Cleanliness in Hajj is a Shariah and Health Requirement’, an innovation aimed at protecting pilgrims' health from diseases caused by environmental pollution.
Minister Madani gave assurances that everything is ready for the Hajj, including the six tawafa organizations that serve pilgrims from overseas, and the 13 companies that are providing transportation with 13,770 buses. For domestic pilgrims, he said, a computerized system is in place for the issuance of permits to both Saudis and expatriates. He spoke of plans to confront possible rain and flash floods during the Hajj season, and transport arrangements for those who are stranded, injured or ill. He referred to the special force created by the Ministry for crowd management at Jamarat [the stoning area in Mina], adding that 772 officials have been specially trained in rescue operations in cooperation with the Department of Civil Defense.
Meanwhile, the King Fahd Institute for Hajj Research at Umm Al-Qur'ah University in Makkah is holding its fourth forum on January 19, focusing on issues pertaining to traffic and transport during the Hajj season, with about 26 working papers covering pilgrim security and safety of pilgrims as well as health, medical and transportation services.