Madinah airport gears up for pilgrims during last nights in Ramadan

Madinah airport gears up for pilgrims during last nights in Ramadan

Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah has 88 immigration counters including 30 at the arrival lounge and 26 at the departure lounge. — Courtesy photo

Saudi Gazette report

MADINAH – Activities at Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport here are in full swing to meet the requirements of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and worshipers who come to perform special prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.

Al-Madina Arabic daily’s correspondent visited the airport’s arrival and departure terminals in order to give readers an idea of intensive activity there. The visit included the immigration offices and counters at the airport, offering speedy services to the guests of God.

The number of pilgrims who visited the Kingdom for Umrah this season has increased considerably as the holy month coincides with summer vacation in the Arab and Islamic world.

Maj. Gen. Khaled Al-Howaish, director of the Passports Department, said his organization has mobilized its human and material resources to extend excellent services to pilgrims and visitors.

The department has been provided with advanced information technology facilities.

“We have got instructions from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, deputy premier and interior minister, to facilitate the arrival and departure of the guests of God who visit Madinah during the holy month,” he told Al-Madina.

“We, the officers at Jawazat, consider our services to the guests of God as a greater honor,” he added.

Brig. Badr Bin Maayouf Al-Motairy, director of Passports at Madinah airport, said the department has deployed adequate number of officers at the airport to speed up immigration procedures. “Our officers are trained and advised to deal with passengers in the best manner.”

Immigration officers take biometric information of foreign pilgrims and check their passports and visas.

“During the last three days the airport has received more than 200,000 pilgrims who came to perform Umrah and attend special Ramadan prayers,” he pointed out.

The new airport has 88 immigration counters including 30 at the arrival lounge, 26 at the departure lounge in addition to 32 counters which will be opened during the peak days of the season when a large number of pilgrims visit Madinah.

“We have also appointed women officers to deal with female pilgrims,” Al-Motairy said.

The Passports Department at the airport has a special forgery section, which is provided with advanced technological facilities. It has 90 devices to check forged travel documents.

“We play a significant role with the cooperation of other government departments at the airport to overcome the problems and difficulties of pilgrims and other passengers and ensure their comfort. We are determined to make this Umrah season a big success,” Al-Motairy said.