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Saudi Arabia Welcomes Qatari Pilgrims Traveling by Air only | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Muslim pilgrims pray on a rocky hill known as Mountain of Mercy, on the Plain of Arafat, during the annual hajj pilgrimage. (AP)

Jeddah- Saudi Arabia has announced that Qatari pilgrims will come to perform Hajj rituals by air only via airlines such as Qatar Airways, ensuring that Qataris are welcome – the total number of visas for Umrah pilgrims this year reached a record 6.7 million, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said.

Despite the ongoing Gulf crisis, the Kingdom welcomes all those from Qatar who wish to perform Hajj and Umrah, the ministry added.

Qataris and expatriates with Qatari residency visas who have Hajj permits from the Saudi ministry and from relevant bodies in Qatar can enter the Kingdom via air carriers chosen by Doha and approved by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA).

They should enter only through King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Airport in Madinah during the current Hajj season, the ministry cotninued.

The kingdom will provide facilities and services for all coming pilgrims from Qatar and the rest of the world to allow them to perform the rituals smoothly.

This policy has been adopted by the kingdom since its unity by the founder King Abdulaziz and until today in the time of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the crown prince.

Mohammad Maajini, deputy chairman of the Mutawif Association for Pilgrims of Arab countries, told Asharq Al-Awsat that services provided for pilgrims coming from Arab countries go in tandem with guidelines of King Salman’s government.

He added that a meeting was held with the minister of of Hajj and Umrah few days ago, where the latter expressed keenness to provide best services in this season.