As the 2024 Hajj season commences, authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have reported that nearly one million foreign pilgrims have already arrived. According to a report by Saudi Gazette, by the end of Sunday, 935,966 pilgrims had entered the kingdom through various air, land, and sea ports.

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The annual pilgrimage in Makkah is expected to draw over two million attendees this year, including 65,000 from Nigeria. The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has successfully airlifted 40,696 Nigerian pilgrims on a total of 96 flights.

The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) disclosed that the majority of pilgrims, 896,287, arrived by air, with 37,280 entering via land and 2,399 arriving by sea. The directorate emphasized its commitment to facilitating entry procedures by enhancing its online platforms with the latest technology, operated by skilled Saudi personnel fluent in multiple languages spoken by the pilgrims.

In a significant development, Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, has launched the Nusuk Wallet, the world’s first international digital wallet for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims. Developed in collaboration with the Saudi National Bank (SNB AlAhli), this digital wallet allows pilgrims to manage their finances securely through advanced encryption technologies.

Ahmed Al-Maiman, Director of Digital Experience at the ministry, highlighted that the Nusuk Wallet marks several local and international achievements. “This digital wallet and international bank card enable pilgrims to manage their money during their stay in the holy cities, bringing us closer to our goal of developing a comprehensive super-app for pilgrims’ needs,” he stated.




Victoria Ibiama