Hajj 2019: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed funds journey for Yemeni pilgrims
Saudi Arabia's General Directorate of Passports says more than 1.3 million Hajj pilgrims have arrived in the country
Yemeni pilgrims have set off for Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj thanks to the support of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces funded the journey of a number of nationals, who boarded an Emirati plane bound for the kingdom on Thursday.
Sheikh Mohamed has offered the pilgrimage grant to Yemeni families for the past four years.
The travellers thanked the UAE leadership for supporting their pilgrimage.
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and millions of Muslims travel to Saudi Arabia every year to take part.
On Thursday, the Saudi General Directorate of Passports said 1,336,426 pilgrims had already arrived in the country.
The Directorate told the Saudi Press Agency that 1,245,303 pilgrims had arrived by air, 76,199 travelled overland and 14,924 pilgrims had arrived by sea.
The first pilgrims enjoyed the maiden Hajj train service between Madinah to Makkah on Thursday.
The Haramain Express, the Kingdom's first high-speed train, opened in September 2018 by King Salman, shortly after last year's Hajj. The 450km journey, which can take up to six hours by bus, takes just two hours. SPA said 170 pilgrims were on board.
Staying healthy during Hajj
The UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention sent its medical mission to Saudi Arabia on Friday to accompany UAE pilgrims.
The 70-strong team of doctors, nurses and administrators will provide all healthcare services and offer preventive and medical advice to pilgrims, WAM reported.
The medical staff have been briefed to follow-up with pilgrims with chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and heart conditions, said Dr Abdul Al Zarouni, head of the health ministry's Hajj mission.
The week ahead is generally sunny with a gentle breeze. Temperatures will have highs of around 40°C and lows of 27°C. Some thundery showers are expected in the area late on Tuesday, August 7.
Eid Al Adha announcement
On Thursday evening, the Saudi Supreme Court announced that the Dhu Al Hijja moon had been sighted, meaning the final month in the Islamic Calendar begins on August 2. This in turn means Arafat Day will be marked on August 10 and Eid Al Adha will being on August 11.
Public and private sector workers in the UAE will have four days of holiday for Eid Al Adha this year.
Employees across the country will be given a break from Saturday, August 10, until Tuesday, August 13.
Updated: August 2, 2019 03:17 PM