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407,000 Pilgrims Leave Saudi Arabia After Performing Hajj
Muslim World Affairs And Islamic News 407,000 Pilgrims Leave Saudi Arabia After Performing Hajj

Mohammed Al-Sulami 

The number of pilgrims who have left the Kingdom reached more than 400,000 as of Saturday, the General Directorate of Passports said.

"The total departures were 407,220 pilgrims. Pilgrims who left via land crossings reached 42,893; 359,508 departed from airports and 4,819 through sea ports," the directorate added.

The directorate told pilgrims that leaving before their Hajj visa expires after performing their pilgrimage "avoids penalties prescribed by law." Pilgrims were also warned not to travel outside Makkah, Jeddah and Madinah.

The directorate said companies providing services to pilgrims must not delay in reporting any pilgrims who overstay. "This delay may cause these companies to be subject to the prescribed penalties."

The directorate has issued 90 administrative decisions against citizens and residents who transported pilgrims without a permit, with fines totaling SR5 million ($1,333,244). "The penalties varied between fines and prison sentences. It included deportation ... of the offender, and confiscation of the vehicle used to transport pilgrims."

Madinah businesses get sales boost during Hajj season

Madinah experiences a sales boom during the Hajj season, due to the greater number of shoppers, especially pilgrims.

Textiles, ready-made garments, gold, silver, jewelry and electronics are the most popular items.

"There are many types of gold, including Kuwaiti and Bahraini, but local gold is the most requested due to its quality and diversity of designs," said Suhail Al-Muhari, a salesman at a gold shop on Assalam Street.

Hajj Hassan Mohammed Hassan from Egypt said he bought prayer beads and rings for his brothers and relatives, and a handbag and a piece of cloth for his wife.

Shopkeeper Abdullah Abdul Hamid said traditional beads cost less than SR10 ($2.67), but "some pilgrims look for high-quality beads made from precious stones that are worth thousands of riyals."

Dates are another popular gift, and date shops and markets abound.

"Pilgrims prefer to buy Ajwah dates," said Pakistani vendor Mohammad Assem. "The price of 1 kg ranges from SR35 to SR80."

 Posted By Posted On Wednesday, September 04 @ 07:00:23 PDT By MediaEnglishTeam

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