The first batch of 437 Gambian pilgrims is leaving for Saudi Arabia later today to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
They are expected to be offered a warm send off at the Banjul International Airport by the President of the Supreme Islamic Council, Management Director of the Gambia International Airlines (GIA) and members of the National Hajj Commission.
According to information reaching What’s On-Gambia, 1,400 Gambians are scheduled to perform Hajj this year.
“There is an increase compared to last year when 1325 performed the pilgrimage,” said a member of the Hajj Commission.
A team of instructors, medical doctors and immigration officers are accompanying the Gambian team to help them perform the pilgrimage safely.
Meanwhile, the new government is planning to liberalize the market for Hajj services next year. This is expected to increase the number of pilgrims in the coming years.