In pictures: First batch of Haj pilgrims start arriving in Saudi Arabia

After months of lockdown the kingdom has mobilised to ensure a safe scaled-down pilgrimage

Haj 2020
Members of the medical team from Saudi Health ministry awaiting the first group of arrivals for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, at the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport. – The 2020 hajj season, which has been scaled back dramatically to include only around 1,000 Muslim pilgrims as Saudi Arabia battles a coronavirus surge, is set to begin on July 29. -Image Credit: AFP
Haj 2020
Pilgrims from 160 nationalities set to perform rituals. Pilgrims have been arriving in Mecca from the cities of Madinah, Riyadh, Abha, Tabuk and Jazan. -Image Credit:
Haj 2020
Mask clad travellers, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, walk with thier luggage as part of the first group of arrivals for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. The Haj was limited this year to some 10,000 people living in Saudi Arabia, both citizens and residents, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. -Image Credit: AFP
Hajj 2020
Pilgrims descend an escalator with luggage as part of the first group of arrivals for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport. Health precautions are in place every step of the way as the pilgrims embark on their holy journey. -Image Credit: AFP
Haj 2020
Travellers waiting by a belt for their luggage as part of the first group of arrivals for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Saudi Arabia has announced that 70 per cent of this year’s pilgrims will be expatriate residents while the remaining 30 per cent will be Saudis. The expatriates wishing to perform this year’s Hajj had to meet certain health conditions. -Image Credit: AFP
Haj 5
A mask clad traveler walks with his luggage to take a bus from International Airport. This year’s hajj will be held under strict hygiene protocols, with access limited to pilgrims under 65 years old and without any chronic illnesses. -Image Credit: AFP
Haj 2020
Seated distantly from one another, piligrims are seen riding on a bus transporting them from the Airport to their hotel. Authorities called on all citizens and residents to abide by the instructions regarding Haj season this year. -Image Credit: AFP
Hajj 2020
A member of the Hajj staff checking the travel documents of a group of travellers arriving for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, at a hotel in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca. /Image Credit: AFP
Hajj 2020
Hajj staff is seen escorting a traveller arriving for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, to his room at a hotel in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca. Pilgrims will spend several days in a hotel from Saturday July 25 until Wednesday July 29 and after the end of the isolation period, they will go to Mecca. -Image Credit: AFP
Haj 2020
Mask clad medical workers, check the body temperature of travellers arriving for the annual Hajj pilgrimage at a hotel in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca. In Mina, an area about 20 kilometers east of Mecca, the Saudi Haj Ministry has allocated a fully furnished and equipped tower to accommodate pilgrims during the final days of Haj, which coincide with Eid Al Adha, or the festival of sacrifice, celebrated by Muslims. – Image Credit: AFP
Haj 2020
A Saudi security officer motions to an ambulance at a checkpoint in the Mecca region ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage. The Islamic pilgrimage has been dramatically downsized this year with only a few thousand residents of Saudi Arabia permitted to take part due to concerns over the coronavirus. -Image Credit: Saudi Ministry of Media

THE GULF NEWS

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