Saudi Arabia's digital platforms offer insight into Hajj

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There are excitement among the pilgrims in Makkah as the Arafat Day knocks on the door.

The number of foreign pilgrims has multiplied exponentially over the years, from as few as 24,000 in 1941 to 1.325 million in 2016. Moreover, the authorities face a big challenge in ensuring any infectious outbreak is swiftly and efficiently tackled.

Another perennial concern is the potential for spreading disease among the pilgrims, who spend five days in close quarters with each other, often eating outside and sleeping on the ground near holy sites. "It is only upon producing proof of vaccination that one is issued a haj visa", it said.

Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Maj.

With the successful arrival of about 81,000 Nigerian pilgrims in Sadia Arabia, the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Barrister Abdullah Muhammad Mukhtar has disclosed that the Hajj rites has fully commenced without hitches. These centres, which operates round the clock, are equipped with emergency teams and medicines.

The committee said eight companies, which planned to transport pilgrims, had lost 30 million riyals ($8.2 million) in potential earnings due to the Saudi "restrictions".

A Muslim pilgrim prays in front of the Kaaba the cubic building at the Grand Mosque ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage in the Muslim holy city of Mecca Saudi Arabia Tuesday Aug. 29 2017

Teheran's boycott of the hajj followed the 2015 stampede that left 465 of its citizens dead, While Riyadh severed ties in early 2016 following the storming of its diplomatic facilities in Iran by protesters furious about Saudi Arabia's execution of a dissident Shiite cleric. The platforms will provide information and insights to pilgrims, worldwide audiences and local and global media.

Health officials said they are also prepared to deal with any injuries or accidents, and have more than 100 ambulances deployed across the hajj sites.

This stunning photo show tens of thousands of Muslims at the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in MeccaWhat happens at Hajj? Multi-level pathways have also been built to reduce congestion.

With the dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia apparently escalating, all eyes are on the arrival of Qatar's pilgrims, who are the personal guests of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. In the outdoor assembly area of the mosque, sliding domes have been installed that can be moved over crowds to protect them from the heat.

For author Zeghidour, going on the hajj takes pilgrims to another level altogether.

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