Madinah prepares for 600,000 visitors

Pilgrims and visitors to Madinah first go to the Prophet’s Mosque in the holy city to perform prayers and visit the tombs of the Prophet and his companions. (SPA)

Pilgrims and visitors to Madinah first go to the Prophet’s Mosque in the holy city to perform prayers and visit the tombs of the Prophet and his companions. (SPA)

Government departments in Madinah have completed their preparations to receive over half a million pilgrims who have just completed the Haj rituals under the direct supervision of Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman.

These preparations involved the participation of 6,000 male and female employees, all of whom have been working hard in a race against time to provide the best services to all pilgrims.

The Vice General President of the Prophet’s Mosque Affairs, Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Falih, said that the relevant departments have developed plans and proposals to provide services for the comfort of worshippers and visitors around the clock, and are ready to implement preparations at the Prophet’s Mosque and the sections allocated for prayers in the western, northern, eastern and southern courts. This amounts to a total of 16,000 carpets.

“All the corridors in the squares and inside the Prophet’s Mosque are open, and observers have been deployed to guide worshippers — both males and females — to their allocated areas,” said Al-Falih.

He added that more than 15,000 containers of cold Zamzam water in addition to 40 cold water drinking tanks with clean disposable cups and 20 drinking water fountains, which have been distributed around the squares of the mosque.

“There are also more than 100 open doors with escalators to transport people to their destinations. The deployed staff will prevent the entry of anything that may litter the mosque or disturb the quietness inside.

Everything is ready to go for worshippers to perform their prayers inside the Holy Prophet’s Mosque with tranquility and peace,” he noted.

He also said that the air conditioning will operate at full capacity, as well as 250 umbrellas and 436 fans which will be in operation to spray water to clean the air inside the mosque.

The parking lots are also expected to accommodate 5,000 cars, while full service buildings for cleansing will be available for women and for men with over 11,000 centers for washing.

Madinah police chief Major General Abdul Hadi Al-Shahrani said that the pilgrimage plan is complete for the season, and aim to take all necessary measures and precautions to ensure the smooth flow of human traffic throughout key areas.

Director General of Health Affairs in Madinah and Chairman of Committees of the Pilgrimage Season, Dr. Ahmad bin Ibrahim, said that the city’s health department will depend on the services offered by the seasonal health centers deployed around the Prophet’s Mosque.

“In addition, emergency aid centers are made available on the central roads leading to Madinah to address and deal with any accident that might occur during the season,” he added.

Khaled Al-Sahli, spokesman for the Saudi Red Crescent Authority in Madinah, said that an integrated ambulance program is in place to offer first aid and rescue assistance to pilgrims, employing more than 500 doctors, specialists, ambulance and emergency technicians and drivers to take on such duties.

“The air ambulance will also be ready to cover all the roads leading to Madinah and inside the administrative directorates of the region to offer assistance and to follow up on the movement of pilgrims to and from Madinah, with the support of 5 advanced intervention teams,” he added.


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