Updated 7 July 2022
After two years of hiatus, the KSA Government finally reopened the Hajj, the most anticipated event for Muslims worldwide, with some restrictions and requirements in place. To facilitate pilgrims with these tedious entry procedures and have a seamless experience upon arrival in Saudi Arabia, the government’s programme – Makkah Initiative Route, has been in full swing to help Hajj pilgrims from five countries with visa, customs and passport issues.
Here’s what we know about this year’s Makkah Route Initiative- the countries eligible and how it helps pilgrims.
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Makkah Route Initiative
The Makkah Route Initiative is one of the initiatives of the Ministry of Interior to serve Hajj pilgrims from the following five countries that are part of the program:
The Makkah Route initiative was first launched in Malaysia and Indonesia in 2018, two of the countries with the largest proportion of Hajj pilgrims every year. The program’s role is to facilitate Muslims to perform Hajj and Umrah to the fullest extent and to work on enriching and enhancing their experience by simplifying the entry and custom procedures.
— طريق مكة (@MakkahRoute) July 4, 2022
How does it help pilgrims?
The Makkah Route Initiative comes as a continuation of the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in facilitating Hajj to the pilgrims and visitors to the holy sites- Makkah and Madinah. The program aims to assist the pilgrims from the 5 countries in:
- Finalizing the procedures for the pilgrims from their countries.
- Issuing the visa electronically and taking the prints.
- Completion of passport procedures at the airport of the country of departure after verifying the availability of health requirements.
- Coding and sorting luggage according to transportation and housing arrangements in the Kingdom.
- Upon their arrival, the pilgrims are directly moved to buses to take them to their places of residence in Makkah and Madinah, with designated paths.
- The service agencies deliver their luggage to their places of residence.
— Ministry of Hajj and Umrah (@MoHU_En) June 29, 2022
Makkah Route Initiative latest updates
The first of batch of the pilgrims who benefited from the Makkah Route Initiative arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, coming from the Kingdom of Malaysia on 20 June 2022. This year as many as 6,282 beneficiaries of the “Makkah Route” Initiative departed from the Kingdom of Malaysia to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the initiative lounge at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The Saudi Arabian Immigration and Customs team were stationed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to check the pilgrims’ passports so that when they arrive at Jeddah or Madinah, they do not have to go through the immigration and customs processes.
The first batch of pilgrims benefiting from the Makkah Route Initiative arrived at the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah on 8 June 2022, coming from Pakistan through the initiative’s terminal at the Islamabad International Airport, where they were received by Director of Madinah Passports Lieutenant-General Fahd Al-Otaibi and several representatives of partner institutions.
The Makkah Route Initiative, which is launched in Pakistan this year for the second year after 2019, after it was interrupted by the pandemic.
The first batch of Indonesian pilgrims benefiting from the Makkah Route Initiative arrived at the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah on 8 June 2022.
The Makkah Route Initiative continues works at the departure terminal at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to serve pilgrims in Indonesia through facilitating their travel procedures to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The first batch of pilgrims from Bangladesh arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on 6 June 2022, who departed from the initiative’s terminal at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
The Makkah Route Initiative is launched in Bangladesh for the second time this year after it was launched in 2019.
The first batch of the pilgrims who benefited from Makkah Route Initiative from the Kingdom of Morocco arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah on 26 June 2022.
Makkah Route Initiative at Mohammed V International Airport in Morocco’s Casablanca continues receiving Morocco’s pilgrims benefiting from the initiative and complete their procedures easily. Morocco is the fifth and last station where the Makkah Route Initiative was launched this year.