ISLAMABAD: A total of 168,800 Indonesians will perform Haj this year, the country’s ambassador said on Monday.
Abdurrahman Mohammed Fachir told Arab News the final contingent of pilgrims arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on Sunday evening and left for the holy city of Makkah. He said the first flight of pilgrims arrived from Jakarta in Madinah on Sept. 1.
Fachir said comprehensive arrangements have been made by the Haj mission in coordination with the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs to ensure pilgrims have a hassle-free Haj this year, Arab News Reported.
Indonesia normally sends about 200,000 pilgrims. The number has fallen this year because of the reduction in Haj quotas stemming from the Grand Mosque expansion project. Indonesia sends the highest number of Haj pilgrims to the Kingdom.
A total of 3,000 staff would be working to help pilgrims this year,including workers from the country’s health and religious ministries.
A further 600 workers have been recruited locally and trained to assist during the pilgrimage.
Fachir said he would be working in the two holy cities during this period.
Over 2 million pilgrims will head for the tent city of Mina on Thursday, the beginning of the five day annual pilgrimage that will reach its climax on Friday on the plains of Arafat.