Hajj: 1 Million Pilgrims Arrive Saudi Arabia

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Authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stated that nearly one million foreign pilgrims had arrived for the 2024 Hajj season.

‘Daily Trust’ cites a report by Saudi Gazette as indicating that by the end of Sunday, a total of 935,966 pilgrims arrived through all the kingdom’s air, land and seaports.

 Recall that over two million are billed to attend the annual pilgrimage in Makkah with 65,000 Nigerian expected for the exercise.

Already, the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) said it had airlifted 40,696 Nigerian pilgrims from a total of 96 flights.

The report quoted the General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) as stating that the overwhelming majority of pilgrims came by air and their number reached 896,287, while the number who arrived via land entry points stood at 37,280 pilgrims, and 2,399 pilgrims came via seaports.

The directorate stated that it was harnessing all its capabilities to facilitate the entry procedures for the guests of God by supporting its online platforms at international air, land and seaports with the latest technical devices operated by qualified Saudis who are proficient in different languages spoken by the pilgrims.

It also reported that the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, has inaugurated the Nusuk Wallet, the first international digital wallet of its kind in the world to serve Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.

It stated that the digital wallet was introduced in cooperation with the Saudi National Bank (SNB AlAhli) to allow managing money and expenses of the guests of God, supported by a banking infrastructure from the SNB AlAhli through its brand NEO.

 “Nusuk Wallet uses the latest emerging technologies and encryption techniques to ensure the highest security standards for users’ financial transactions,” it stated.

It quoted the director of digital experience at the ministry, Ahmed Al-Maiman, as saying that as many as half a dozen achievements had been realised at the local and international levels with the launch of the digital wallet.

“It is the first digital wallet and international bank card in the world, allowing Hajj and Umrah pilgrims to manage their money during the period of their stay in the holy cities for performing rituals. Following this move, we have become closer to achieving our goal of developing a successful super-app that meets pilgrim’s needs,” he said.

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