JEDDAH: As part of the Makkah Route initiative, the first group of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims arrived on Wednesday from Jakarta, taking off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and landing at Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah.
The pilgrims were received by Abdulaziz Ahmad, the Indonesian ambassador to Saudi Arabia; Subhan Khaliq, chairman of the Hajj Organization Committee; and Nasrallah Jassam, the Indonesian counsel for Hajj and Umrah affairs.
The Makkah Route initiative is overseen by the Ministry of Interior as part of the Pilgrim Experience Program of Saudi Vision 2030.
It entails carrying out all travel procedures needed by the pilgrims in their homeland, including issuing visas electronically, ensuring that pilgrims have a clean bill of health, completing passport procedures at the airport in the country of departure, and coding and sorting the luggage according to the transportation and accommodation arrangements in the Kingdom.
Seven countries are involved in the initiative: Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Morocco, Bangladesh, Turkiye and Cote d’Ivoire.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Abdulfattah Mashat visited the camps of the Company of Mutawifs for Pilgrims from African Non-Arab Countries in Arafat.
During his visit, Mashat inspected new camps established by the company and its preparations to serve the pilgrims during the Hajj season.
Ahmad Sindi, chairman of the Mutawifs company, said that the development of Arafat camps aims at enabling the pilgrims to perform their religious duty of Hajj with comfort, safety and reassurance, in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to improve quality of life.
He added that work has been done to provide all security and safety requirements for the pilgrims in accordance with civil defense standards.
Arafat camp covers over 230,000 square meters and accommodates up to 190,000 pilgrims.
Sindi said that the new tents provided meet international standards, are water and fire resistant, protect against ultraviolet light, and are connected to a special cooling system.
Daily arrivals of flights carrying Hajj pilgrims from around the globe will continue between Jeddah and Madinah airports until June 4.