Abdullah Al Rushud
MAKKAH: Regardless of religion, many people have heard of the pilgrimage ritual, or Hajj, which is the largest gathering in the world and takes place in Saudi Arabia every year.
The pilgrimage period, which is slightly different each year, is for 6 days this year from July 8 to 13. The Al Machar region includes major pilgrimage sites such as Arafat, Muzdalifah, and Mina, and covers an area of 119 square kilometers. Saudi Arabia’s services for operating and managing the area showed a great deal of information.
The Saudi government is committed to providing health care, security, electricity, water and transportation services to the millions who come to Makkah from various countries around the world to make a pilgrimage. The total number of workers from various sectors of government and private institutions who provide services to pilgrims is 228,721, and out of 21,062 health care workers, 60% are men and 40% women.
There are 716 beds available at the health center for pilgrims that fall ill, 97 emergency centers, and 264 members on the first aid team. Including childbirth, 294 surgeries were performed during the pilgrimage season.
In terms of security, according to the Saudi Ministry of the Interior, security services aimed at maintaining safety and providing every comfort to pilgrims include as many as 38 police stations, 114 security control centers, and 220 private security centers.
To meet electricity and water demands, 6,734 male and female workers from the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation provide water and electricity services to pilgrims, and the amount of water provided is 20,700,000 cubic meters. There are five power plants, and the surrounding area is operating at full capacity. A total volume of 5,705,864 liters of Zamzam water is distributed to pilgrims.
As for postal and transport services, a total of 19,817 male and female employees are engaged in these services. There are 16 offices and 15 trains. The trains run 35 times a day and are used by 72,000 passengers every hour.
The Jamaraat Bridge, a huge structure built to encourage the important rituals of the pilgrimage, cost $1.12 billion to construct. The bridge protects the lives of pilgrims by alleviating overcrowding and thus avoiding tragedy.