The Saudi Arabian government has recently implemented a ban on children’s strollers in the Holy Kaaba’s circumambulating area, known as Mataf.
The General Authority for the Care of the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque announced the new policy, specifying that strollers are no longer allowed on the ground floor of Mataf. However, designated areas on the upper floors of Mataf and specific locations within the Grand Mosque in Makkah will still permit the use of strollers.
Additionally, access to Mas’a, the running area between Safa and Marwa, is allowed for strollers through the King Fahd Expansion Area, except during overcrowded conditions on Mataf and Mas’a floors. This decision is part of precautionary measures due to the crowded nature of the area, especially during the Hajj and Ramadan months.
As preparations for the upcoming Hajj are underway, with agreements signed with countries like Pakistan, the government aims to welcome around 2 million pilgrims in June. Authorities are also considering dividing Masjid al-Haram into coded zones to facilitate worshippers’ access.
The General Authority for Care of the Two Holy Mosques signed an agreement with the Saudi Postal and Logistics Company to study this division, helping guide pilgrims, assess performance, and distribute resources efficiently.
Last year, the kingdom hosted 2 million Hajj pilgrims and over 13 million Umrah pilgrims after lifting social distancing protocols implemented during the pandemic.