More than 1.8 million Muslims are performing this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
They have walked to Jamarat Al-Aqaba in Mina to throw seven pebbles at a wall in a ritual that symbolizes the stoning of the devil.
Security officers at the site are managing the flow of more than 2 million pilgrims, to ensure that congestion is kept to a minimum.
It was in 2015 when hundreds of pilgrims died in a stampede at Mina – it was the deadliest incident to occur in the last 25 years of the pilgrimage.
Since then the authorities have taken measures to ensure the safe flow through Jamarat Al-Aqaba and onto the Jamarat Bridge where the ritual takes place.
Minister of Hajj and Umrah launched a number of initiatives and enhanced services designed to improve and enrich the experiences of pilgrims.
Dr. Mohammed Salih Bentin and his deputy, Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat unveiled eight projects.
They include: a smart Hajj platform; a service-supervision initiative to improve housing and organizing bus trips; a pilgrims grouping program that uses an electronic system to manage and monitor crowds; a project to increase capacity as part of which a site in Mina has been cleared to house fully equipped tents; and an initiative to improve food services as well as expand provision of ready meals at holy sites.
In addition, a “Be an Assistant” initiative encourages people to volunteer to help pilgrims, while an electronic system has been developed to measure the readiness of holy sites to welcome and serve visitors.
Finally, a “pilgrimage without a bag” program will make life easier for pilgrims by transporting their luggage from their accommodation to the Hajj terminal at King Abdul Aziz International Airport.
International Hajj flight arrivals ended on Monday, and on Wednesday morning the final batch of pilgrims using the Makkah Route Initiative flew in from Tunisia.
Passport chiefs said over 1.7 million Hajj pilgrims had arrived in the country by air, over 95,000 by land and 17,000 by sea.
In total the holy city of Makkahprepared to host more than 2.5 million pilgrims to perform Hajj, with 16 government agencies providing 50 services to visitors.
Authorities in Makkah and Madinah undertook preparations to ensure that pilgrims perform Hajj with ease.