The Director General of Passports in Saudi Arabia, Maj-Gen. Suleiman Al-Yahya, has disclosed that 1,819,790 intending pilgrims have arrived at the Kingdom to perform the annual hajj rites.
The arrival of the individuals through the air, sea and land concluded the first stage of the religious rites.
Disclosing this during a press conference in Jeddah on Wednesday, Al-Yahya revealed that the figure included 1,708,152 people arriving through airports across the Kingdom, 94,388 through land ports, and 17,250 who came via sea.
He also stated that over 300 forged visas were discovered upon arrival of some intending pilgrims.
The DG also reiterated the efforts made by the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, as well as the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Hajj Committee Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef and the Minister of Defense in providing all possible resources to ensure successful completion of the first phase of the pilgrimage.
He added that the arrival was smooth due to advanced technology as well as efficient employees who carried out the process in record time.
He warned pilgrims against staying beyond the Hajj season, noting that they must return home after completing their Hajj rites in accordance with their issued visas, saying all those caught overstaying their stay would face the wrath of the law.
The Director also noted that the Passports Directorate was already prepared for the second phase concerning the departure of the pilgrims to their various countries.
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