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Pilgrims generally travel to Hajj and Umrah in groups. During the early 19th century, numbers undertaking the traditional overland pilgrimage within caravans began to diminish as many pilgrims began arriving in Makkah by steamship. This continued for some time, until air travel came to predominate; Egypt introduced the first airline service for Hajj pilgrims in 1937. Today, many airlines are operating from worldwide to Jeddah and Madinah airports. King Abdulaziz International AirportĀ in Jeddah and Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz AirportĀ in Madinah have dedicated pilgrim terminals to assist the arrival of pilgrims.

AIR TRAVEL FROM UK

There are 24 commercial international airports within the UK and many other domestic or private airfields.
Heathrow Airport is currently the busiest airport in the UK and serves passengers for domestic flights within the UK, external flights to the rest of the world and it is also a hub for connecting flights to many countries as well. UK is a small country but it can take hours to drive from one end of the country to the other which is why domestic internal flights are popular from the smaller airports.

MAIN AIRPORTS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

HAJJ TRANSPORTATION

BUSES

During Hajj season, it does not matter which airline you fly. Pilgrims are transferred to hajj terminal and from there they either fly/go by road to Madinah/Makkah. For pilgrims travelling by road towards Makkah or Madinah in buses, the Saudi government has established the general vehicles syndicate in 1952 which was given special responsibility in the hajj transportation system. The responsibility is about transporting external pilgrims from their entry ports (e.g. Airports) to the sacred places (e.g. Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifa) including transportation towards hotels in Makkah and Madinah. The membership of the Syndicate is comprises more than 20 transport companies (e.g. Qawafel, Rwahell, Rabitet Makkah and so on) working in co-ordination with competent government agencies.

Therefore, transportation from an entry point towards hotels in Makkah or Madinah although the transportation from hotels in Makkah towards and between the sacred places must be done through or provided by the General Vehicles Syndicate. Buses provided by the syndicate may/not in the best conditions. Nevertheless, buses used in transporting towards VIP tents in the sacred places, or in transportation between Makkah to Madinah and vice versa, can be upgraded to higher standard in terms of condition by signing a contract with the desired transport company and under the supervision of the syndicate by paying additional sum per pilgrim.

TRAIN

King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz ordered the construction of the sacred places train network in order to assist in the transport of pilgrims between the sacred places and thereby reduce the problem of traffic jams and all other negative aspects which accompany them. At the present time, the train connects Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat. Its primary aim is to lessen dependence on buses to move pilgrims between the sacred places. The Haramain high speed railway is operational linking the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. The link continues to Jeddah connecting to King Abdul Aziz Airport. The line is designed for a top speed of 300 kilometres per hour (190 mph). Service offers Economy and business class cabins.

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