UAE lauds Saudi Arabia for 'successful' Haj season

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Dubai, Aug 25 (IANS/WAM) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday congratulated Saudi Arabia on the successful completion of this year's Haj season -- the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.

"Sincerest congratulations to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on the impressive success of this Haj season," said Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

He added that "the kingdom spares no effort to serve pilgrims coming from all over the world without discrimination against any fellow Muslims. Saudi authorities proved anew their ability to ensure successful management of the pilgrimage rituals."

The UAE is used as a transit hub by thousands of pilgrims from across the world to travel to Jeddah, the gateway to Mecca which harbours the Great Mosque "Al Haram".

The UAE's biggest carrier Emirates Airline announced in July the addition of 33 additional flights to Jeddah and Medina from August 6 to 31. Emirates said an estimated 25,000 pilgrims would fly with the airline to perform Haj, one of the duties every Muslim should at least fulfil once in his lifetime.

According to Saudi media reports, around 2 million pilgrims travelled to the country to perform Haj in August.