37,746 Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia

Hajj: Images show Saudi Arabia preparing for arrival of over two million Muslim pilgrims in Mecca

Some 1,200 Qataris are eligible to perform the rituals under a quota system.

Bahrain, and Egypt severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, in a scheme generally believed to have been orchestrated by Riyadh.

Qatari nationals are also banned from entering the states, but Riyadh claims to have made an exception for the Hajj.

He said Saudi Arabia welcomes all Muslims to perform this religious rite, rejecting attempts to politicize or use Hajj for purposes other than worship. However, those in Qatar say registration is impossible.

Saudi's General Overseer of Passports, Sulaiman Al-Yahya, said 18 individuals were being prosecuted for illegally transporting pilgrims without permits.

Al-Awwad thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the government's continuing efforts to provide the best services and security for Hajj pilgrims from around the world.

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Speaking with newsmen, the commissioner of operations, Abdullahi Modibbo, said state pilgrims welfare boards registered about 40,000 people, while close to 19,000 registered through private tour operators.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Friday concluded the transportation of Nigeria's pilgrims to this year's Hajj with the arrival of about 190, making up 37,746 pilgrims now in Saudi Arabia.

But three travel agencies in Doha told Reuters they had stopped trying to sell Hajj packages, which can cost up to 120,000 riyals ($33,000).

How open is Saudi's invitation to Hajj pilgrims from Qatar?

"Last year we lost a lot of money as the crisis started after we had booked everything in Mecca and Medina and we had to pay people back", said a manager of one travel agency in Doha, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the company did visual presentation on its readiness on the seventh day of Hajj this year, reviewing its operational capacity.


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