Only a week left before the annual Hajj in Saudi Arabiathe kingdom works around the clock to ensure that the pilgrims are well taken care of.
The annual pilgrimage is expected to take place from 7 to 12 July.
Eid al-Adha or the day of sacrifice is also celebrated during these five days of the Hajj and is expected to be celebrated on Sunday 10 July in South Africa.
After two years of restrictions related to the last Hajj in 2019, Saudi Arabia will welcome about a million pilgrims during the 2022 Hajj, as well as another 150,000 pilgrims from the kingdom.
South Africa has a quota of 1,132 pilgrims who will be allowed to make the pilgrimage in 2022.
While the whole world is focused on the annual Hajj, Saudi Arabia has shared some statistics about this year’s Hajj, including:
- Pilgrims will be greeted at the airport in 13 languages
- 400,000 hours of volunteer work in ten different sectors
- 195 catering companies will provide about 4.8 million meals a day
- 10,000 liters of disinfectant per day to sterilize the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
The one million pilgrims hosted by the Kingdom are far from the sheer number of people who take part in the annual pilgrimage that every Muslim must make once in a lifetime if he can afford it.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Saudi Arabia hosted between 2.5 and 3 million pilgrims.
With South Africans and the rest of the world not allowed to perform the Hajj in 2020 and 2021, the waiting lists for SA have increased to sixteen years behind the previous five to eight years.
South Africans must register and obtain accreditation with the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (Sahuk) before going on the Hajj.