"Saudi Arabia: Hajj 2024 Dominated By Rising Temperatures"

"Saudi officials warn of sweltering heat for this year's Islamic pilgrimage. Observers highlight that mitigating measures are not enough as regional long-term policy changes are needed."

"This year's Islamic Hajj pilgrimage — which starts on June 14 — will not only be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for some 2 million Muslims from around 180 countries who travel to Saudi Arabia, it will also be a physical challenge as temperatures will be above average.

"The expected climate for Hajj this year will witness an increase in average temperatures of 1.5 to 2 degrees [Celsius] above normal in Mecca and Medina," national meteorology center chief Ayman Ghulam said last week.

For Mecca, which is at the heart of the five-day Hajj pilgrimage, the increase likely spells an average temperature of around 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit).

To mitigate the expected heat, all main squares in Mecca and Medina have been equipped with misting systems and portable water stations. Also, the floor of the Great Mosque in Mecca as well as surrounding tents will be air-conditioned, the Saudi authorities promised."

Jennifer Holleis and Anke Rasper report for DW June 11, 2024.

Source: DW, 06/13/2024