1. More than  2.37 million pilgrims  are taking part this year, according to official figures, compared to 1.86 million in 2016 and just 24,000 in 1941.

Muslim worshippers perform prayers around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca on August 15, 2018, prior to the start of the annual Haj pilgrimage in the holy city. Photo: AFP/Bandar Al-Dandani

2. Some  18,000 civil defence employees , among tens of thousands of security personnel, are helping safeguard pilgrims, officials say. Additionally, thousands of security cameras have been set up along the pilgrimage route.

A Saudi security officer watches over Muslim pilgrims as they throw pebbles at pillars during the “Jamarat” ritual, the stoning of the devil, in Mina near the holy city of Mecca, on October 26, 2012. Photo: AFP/Fayez Nureldine

3. Twenty-five hospitals backed by 180 ambulances and more than  30,000 health practitioners  have been mobilised to provide emergency services to pilgrims, according to the haj ministry.

4. Tens of thousands of air-conditioned tents have been set up to house pilgrims as temperatures climb to  44°C .

A Saudi man sits inside of a sleep pod in Mecca on August 16, 2018. The free nap pods are part of new measures Saudi Arabia is rolling out this year in a bid to modernise the centuries-old practice of Haj. Photo: AFP/Ahmad Al-Rubaye

5. Around  14,000 international and domestic flights  have so far transported pilgrims, according to official figures. Around 21,000 buses have also been used.

A group of Thai Muslim women board a special flight for the annual Haj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca from Narathiwat provincial airport in southern Thailand on July 24, 2018. Photo: AFP/Madaree Tohlala

6. Around 16,000 telecommunication towers and  3,000 WiFi access points have been set up to serve pilgrims, the haj ministry says.

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A Muslim worshipper uses his cell phone to livestream film others circumambulating around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca on August 17, 2018 prior to the start of the annual Haj pilgrimage in the holy city. Photo: AFP/Ahmad Al-Rubaye

7.  Eight million copies of the holy Quran  and their translations as well as other religious books will be handed out to pilgrims, official figures show.

A Muslim pilgrim reads a copy of the Koran, Islam’s holy book, as he joins one of the Haj rituals on Mount Arafat near Mecca early on September 11, 2016. Photo: AFP/Ahmad Gharbali

8. Saudi Arabia hopes to welcome  30 million pilgrims annually by 2030 . Muslims also flock to the country for the umrah pilgrimage, which can be performed at any time of the year.

Muslim pilgrims join one of the Haj rituals on Mount Arafat on Sept 11, 2016, where they believe their Prophet Mohammed gave his last Haj sermon. Photo: AFP PHOTO/Ahmad Gharbali

9. Around 54 million pilgrims have attended the haj over the past 25 years, according to official figures.