Pilgrims start returning home after Hajj

Pilgrims from Zaee Group pose for a picture at Saudi Arabia. (Photo/Maldives Hajj Mission)

Maldivian pilgrims have started returning home after the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Ministry of Islamic Affairs says 96 Maldivians who made the pilgrimage via Zaee Group returned to the country this Wednesday morning. And 31 Maldivians who made the pilgrimage under Tazkiyah Group’s charge are scheduled to return on Thursday.

The last of the pilgrims – who made the pilgrimage under the additional quota of 1,000 allowed by the Saudi government - will return on September 18, says Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

The ministry allowed four private organizations, in additional to Maldives Hajj Corporation, to escort pilgrims on the annual Hajj pilgrimage this year. They are; Al-Haramain Hajj and Umrah Group, Zaee Group, Sisilfar Hajj and Umrah Group, and Tazkiyah Group.

The ministry opened a Maldives Hajj Mission Office at Mecca to oversee the welfare of Maldivian pilgrims on July 28.