DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Islam’s annual hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia will return to pre-pandemic levels this year after restrictions saw the annual religious commemoration curtailed over concerns about the coronavirus, authorities say.

The hajj, required of all able-bodied Muslims once in their life, represents one of the world’s largest gatherings of people. Before the pandemic, the pilgrimage drew millions each year to Islam’s holy city of Mecca, home to the cube-shaped Kaaba that observant Muslims pray toward five times a day.

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