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Prince Khaled inspects pilgrim reception center under construction

Saudi Arabia, August 9, 2018

Emir of Makkah Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who is also the chairman of the Central Haj Committee, has inspected the complex being built for receiving pilgrims along the Haramain Expressway.

The prince had earlier approved the design of the complex, which will be completed next year. The center is being jointly constructed by the Ministry of Haj and Umrah and the Authority for the Development of Makkah on an area of 448,000 square meters. The center will accommodate more than 4,000 vehicles and it will have eight lanes for passage to Makkah.

The center will have offices for the government and private departments concerned with Haj service and will accommodate more than 800 employees.

It will have a mosque with plazas that can accommodate more than 20,000 worshippers at a time. It will have residential buildings and various other utilities.

According to the officials in charge of the center, the procedures of pilgrims will be completed in a matter of seven minutes only so that they can proceed to Makkah and the holy sites without hassle.

Deputy Emir of Makkah Prince Abdullah Bin Bandar last week opened the Al-Nuwariyyah center to receive and welcome pilgrims on the Makkah-Madinah Expressway.

4,500 guards

Mohammed Saad Al-Qurashi, spokesman of the coordination council of the local Haj companies, said the council has contracted a security service company to provide 4,500 security guards, including 1,000 women, to guard the tents of the pilgrims in Mina and Arafat round the clock during the Haj.

He said the council would also install surveillance cameras to watch the tents against intruders and thefts.

On the other hand, close to 200,000 people without Haj permits in 90,000 vehicles were turned back from police checkpoints.

Commander of the Haj Security Forces Gen. Khaled Bin Qarar Al-Harbi said the illegal pilgrims were turned back from checkpoints in Al-Shumaisi, Bahra, Al-Taneem, Al-Shuaiba, Al-Sharaie and Al-Bahita, among others.

Ambulance service

The Saudi Red Crescent Authority has completed all arrangements to extend ambulance services to the guests of God.

The authority has recruited a total of 2,631 people consisting of doctors, nurses, technicians and administrators to serve the pilgrims.

It has established 69 ambulance centers in the Grand Mosque, the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah and along the roads leading to them.

The authority has readied 300 ambulances of different sizes to transport sick pilgrims to hospitals.

The authority has also set up 36 ambulance centers in Makkah and 21 in Madinah, in addition to 10 other centers at airports and the border entry points.