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Makkah Route Initiative: Saudi Arabia Streamlines Luggage Handling for Pilgrims – Video

The Makkah Route Initiative is one of Saudi Arabia’s prominent initiatives, which aims to provide high-quality services to pilgrims.

It is part of the Kingdom’s commitment to ensure a seamless and comfortable Hajj experience for all pilgrims, as Saudi Arabia is getting ready to receive over 2 million pilgrims during Hajj Season 2024.

Makkah Route Initiative

The Saudi Ministry of Interior has launched the Makkah Route Initiative, as part of its Pilgrim Experience Program, under Saudi Vision 2030.

It provides dedicated lounges at 11 airports in seven beneficiary countries, including Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Morocco, Bangladesh, Türkiye, and Ivory Coast.

Makkah Route Initiative: Saudi Arabia Streamlines Luggage Handling for Pilgrims
Makkah Route Initiative provides services at the pilgrim’s home country airports

Since its activation in 2019, the Initiative’s total number of beneficiaries reached 617,756. During the Hajj season 2023, 242,272 pilgrims benefited from the initiative.

Streamlining Luggage

Under the Makkah Route Initiative, pilgrims won’t have to worry about their luggage. It will be delivered right to their places of residence in Makkah and Madinah.

Through a coding system, each bag will have a serial number, linked to the pilgrim’s passport. A sticker will be attached to the pilgrim’s luggage, with their flight information and personal details. A similar sticker will also be placed on the cover of the pilgrim’s passport.

The pilgrim will be handed a card containing the information placed on their luggage. Then, the pilgrim will find his luggage at the hotel in Makkah or Madinah.

Travel Procedures

The Makkah Route Initiative facilitates travel procedures at the pilgrim’s home country airports. By utilizing cutting-edge technology, the Initiative collects the pilgrim’s biometric data, verifies health requirements, and issues electronic visas.

Airports under the Makkah Route Initiative have dedicated lounges and several counters for the Saudi General Directorate of Passports. Furthermore, Saudi youth participating in this initiative are fluent in the language of beneficiary countries. This ensures pilgrims receive a smooth service within few minutes.

After Arrival

Upon arrival in Makkah and Madinah airports, pilgrims receive a warm welcome, with water, flowers, gifts, and copies of the Holy Quran and guidance books in their native languages.

Hajj Season 2024: Saudi Arabia Ready to Receive Pilgrims
Pilgrims receive warm welcome in Saudi Arabia airports

The Makkah Route Initiative sees the collaboration of various Saudi ministries, including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, and Hajj and Umrah.

It also involves the efforts of several government authorities, such as the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA), the Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA), and the Pilgrim Experience Program.

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