Almost 4m performed the hajj Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah this year, according to a senior official in the Saudi Arabian holy city.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Makkah governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal described this year’s pilgrimage as “a resounding success”.
The 4m figure included both Saudi Arabian and foreign worshippers, with the latter accounting for the vast majority of pilgrims.
“Islam is a religion of moderation and service to humanity. It is a religion of peace and love and calls for peaceful coexistence with others,” Al-Faisal was quoted as saying. “Unfortunately only negative things about Islam and Muslims are highlighted by the media.”
Al-Faisal added however that up to 1.4m of the 4m pilgrims were undocumented and had performed the ritual illegally.
He said that the holy city was implementing various projects in a bid to curb the number of people, mostly from overseas, who undertake hajj unlawfully. These will include constructing a wall around Makkah’s holy sites.
Authorities in Makkah are also developing the city’s transport infrastructure, including the addition of a metro rail network, and expanding the capacity of the Grand Mosque to allow for more pilgrims during the hajj season.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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