As reported by the Saudi Gazette, Saudi Arabia has allocated camps for housing domestic pilgrims as part of preparations for the upcoming Hajj season.
The allocation of the camp is 7 kilometers from the Holy City of Makkah, precisely in Mina which is usually used as a place for pilgrims to carry out symbolic devil-stoning rituals during the pilgrimage.
It is known that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah started the allocation process on Tuesday night by designating the location in the vicinity of the Mina Abraj tower. The Ministry will divide the camp into three segments and packages.
The first segment is the Mina towers while the second is the tents developed by the Kendana Company. And the third is undeveloped tents titled “hospitality tents”. The ministry plans to introduce the fourth segment of housing outside the holy site area if it gets approval from the authorities for the accommodation of pilgrims outside the holy place.
It is known that the developed tents can accommodate a maximum of six worshipers with an area of 2.5 square meters per pilgrim. Meanwhile, the undeveloped tents are estimated to be able to accommodate 10 worshipers with an average area of 1.6 square meters per pilgrim.
Last month, Saudi Arabia announced that it would allow 1 million pilgrims both from within and outside the Kingdom to perform this year’s hajj, after restricting the annual rituals to Muslims who lived inside the country for the past two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, out of the total 1 million pilgrims, the vast majority of 850,000 pilgrims come from abroad while the domestic pilgrims account for only 15 percent or 150,000 pilgrims, said Saed Al Juhani, the acting Head of the Coordinating Council for Domestic Hajj pilgrims.
The official also said that the open buffet service would also be revived this year after a two-year suspension due to the coronavirus restrictions.
Prior to the pandemic, Saudi Arabia used to host around 2.5 million Muslims from around the world to perform the Hajj pilgrimage.