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Saudi and Pakistan Sign Road to Makkah Deal To Ease Pilgrim’s Journey

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have signed an agreement to implement the Road to Makkah project, which simplifies immigration procedures for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims from the South Asian country. Saudi Deputy Minister of Interior Dr Nasser Al Dawood and Pakistani Minister of Interior Rana Sanaullah signed the agreements in Islamabad on Wednesday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Under the agreement, Hajj and Umrah pilgrims will be provided with immigration facilities at the places where they embark from Pakistan to perform the pilgrimage. In the first phase, the service will be available at Islamabad International Airport, where around 26,000 pilgrims will be able to use it.

The Saudi authorities said that the service would later be extended to Karachi and Lahore airports. Hajj flights from Pakistan will begin on Sunday, with the final flight departing for Saudi Arabia on June 21.

The Makkah Route initiative was launched in several countries in 2018 when the Saudi authorities began to put measures in place to ease travel procedures for pilgrims from abroad. The service was first introduced in Malaysia and Indonesia, countries whose citizens make up a large proportion of Hajj pilgrims every year.

The services include issuing visas, customs and passport procedures, dealing with health requirements, sorting luggage and housing arrangements in Saudi Arabia. All services are handled from the Hajj pilgrims’ point of departure in their home country or country of residence.

The pre-departure services are designed to make pilgrims’ arrival in the kingdom smoother and allow them to go directly to their accommodations in Makkah and Madinah without having to deal with time-consuming procedures. Luggage is taken directly to the pilgrims’ accommodation.


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