Over 16,000 Kuwait pilgrims to arrive in Saudi Arabia

November 4, 2010


More than 15,620 pilgrims from Kuwait are expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia from Kuwait International Airport (KIA) to perform Haj, said a civil aviation official.

“According to the bookings received so far, 15,626 would-be pilgrims will be travelling on board 51 specially chartered flights,” Essam Al Zamel, the head of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was quoted by Kuwait Times as saying.

“Of these, 8,322 will leave on 34 Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) planes, 7,044 will travel aboard 15 specially chartered Saudi Airways aircraft, and 260 will fly with another Saudi airline, NAS, on two scheduled flights.”

This year, initially only 8,000 Kuwait Muslims were given permission to perform the pilgrimage, based on the quota allocated to Kuwait. However, Saudi Arabia later announced that the quota had been increased.

The Saudi authorities, this week, said that 1,250 Bedoon (stateless) residents of Kuwait would, this year, be granted permission to arrive between now and November 13.

The announcement has prompted Kuwaiti Haj operators to seek visas from the Saudi embassy, amidst expectations that the two countries may decide to hurry the visa applications through.

Kuwaiti nationals do not usually need visas to enter Saudi Arabia or any of the other four members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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