RIYADH: The first batch of pilgrims from Cote d’Ivoire traveling for Hajj through the Makkah Route initiative arrived in Makkah on Sunday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The 500 pilgrims arrived at Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah a few days ago from Felix Houphouet Boigny International Airport. They were welcomed with flowers, Zamzam water and souvenirs in the presence of several officials.
Coulibaly Drissa, Cote d’Ivoire ambassador to Saudi Arabia, expressed his thanks to the Kingdom’s government for its services provided by the Makkah Route initiative.
The Makkah Route initiative was launched in 2019 and allows pilgrims from seven countries to pass seamlessly through immigration facilities at their respective airports. The process begins with the issuance of electronic visas and collection of vital information, followed by streamlined passport procedures before departure for the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia launched the Makkah Route initiative in Cote d’Ivoire on Saturday and about 5,000 pilgrims will arrive in the Kingdom this year.
Drissa cited the continuing development projects implemented by the Saudi government in holy sites to enhance services as evidence of the Saudi leadership’s desire to provide pilgrims with comfort.