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Saudi Arabia plans to accommodate nearly three million worshippers at the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah during Ramadan. Saudi Arabia officials say worshippers’ journey will be their focus this holy month

Dr Abdulrahman Al Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of the largest operational plan for the holy month yet.

It focuses on the worshippers’ journey, from their arrival in the outer courtyards of the Two Holy Mosques to circling the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque and walking between the hills of Safa and Marwa, as well as directions to prayer areas and spaces for itikaf, or reflection.

An official by the name Mr Al Sudais said that maintenance of the Kaaba’s sound systems has been completed, and equipment for live broadcasts of the call to prayer is ready. Last week, He published a list of the imams who will lead the Taraweeh, night prayers that take place during Ramadan.

Dr Al Anoud Al Abboud, adviser and assistant president for Women’s Development Affairs at the Grand Mosque, said services have been put in place for female pilgrims during Ramadan. She buttressed that the agency is responsible for the cleanliness, safety and comfort of prayer areas, the provision of Zamzam water and development plans for women’s services at the Grand Mosque.

Umrah during Ramadan

Ramadan is expected to start this year on March 23, although the exact date is likely to be announced on the night of March 22 by the moon-sighting committee.

Communal iftar tables and performing itikaf, when pilgrims spend long hours at mosques, will resume for the whole month. The charity-sponsored iftar tables were banned for two years during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pilgrims can take dry food to break their fasts but free iftar spreads are available.

Only those with a valid permit issued through the government’s Eatmarna app (now called Nusuk) will be allowed to perform Umrah.


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