The first batch of 100 Qatari pilgrims crossed into Saudi Arabia through the Salwa border crossing, and was welcomed by officials.
The pilgrims were allowed in without Hajj permits, and will be treated as guests of King Salman, with all expenses paid.
The king instructed that transport be made available to them from Dammam and Al-Ahsa airports on Saudi Arabian Airlines free of charge to the holy cities.
Col. Hassan Al-Dossari, director of passports at the Salwa crossing, said: “We are honored to serve the guests of God (pilgrims), and happy with the decision of King Salman to let the Qatari brothers enter Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj. We are fully prepared to serve them.”
Al-Dossari added that passport personnel are present in the pilgrims’ lounge around the clock, “and we are proud to serve pilgrims and make things easy for them.”
The president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, Abdul Hakim Al-Tamimi, instructed the directors of Dammam and Al-Ahsa airports to provide the best services to the Qatari pilgrims.
Samir Hafez, who is in charge of Qatari pilgrims, told Arab News that 50 Qataris, including pilgrims and officials, arrived in Makkah to oversee preparations for the Qatari camps. He said there will be 2,400 Qatari pilgrims this year.
Yesterday, the Qatari camps were open to all media outlets to demonstrate their readiness.
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