UAE - The first batch of Haj pilgrims arrived in Dubai on July 12 after fulfilling the fifth pillar of Islam. Their flight took off from King Abdulaziz international airport in Jeddah at 11.30am.

A total of 1,214 arrived at Dubai airport between July 12 and 13. As many as four planes (two Saudia and two Flynas flights) were deployed to carry 945 returnees on July 12. On July 13, three flights (One Emirates, one Saudia and one flydubai) carried 269 passengers. The last batch of pilgrims are expected to land at Dubai Airport Terminal 1, at 8.30pm.

Among the first returnees were Dubai government delegates, including Mohammad Al Marzouqi, Head of the Haj Committee at Dubai Airports; Marwan Al Shehhi, Head of the official Haj delegation, and government officials Bader Abdul Aziz Al Hai and Fahad Fahad Al Mazrooei.

Al Hai and Al Mazrooei, who performed the pilgrimage for the first time, were happy to be among the ones chosen to go for the first post-pandemic Haj.

This year, Saudi Arabia allowed 1 million Muslims to perform Haj. The number of permits for UAE residents were also higher compared to the last two years due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Only 1,000 pilgrims were allowed to perform the Haj after the Covid outbreak. Last year, the total number of pilgrims was increased to 60,000 fully vaccinated people chosen through a lottery system.

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