The chosen few enjoy Mecca's Haj pilgrimage

Mask-wearing pilgrims then circle the Kaaba - a stone structure that is the most sacred in Islam and the direction which Muslims face to pray - in small groups of 50 people, each keeping a safe distance apart and accompanied by a health professional monitoring their movements.

For the first time in the modern era, amidst efforts to curb COVID-19, Muslims from abroad were unable to attend the pilgrimage.

This year's event has been limited to about 1,000 pilgrims from within Saudi Arabia, 70% of whom will be foreign residents of the kingdom.