Middle East

Saudi Arabia: Haj registrations open for US, Europe, Australia


Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Monday opened online registrations for pilgrims from America, Europe and Australia for this year’s Haj season.

Pilgrims can register directly through the portal.

The portal developed by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah includes various packages, support services and a call centre that works around the clock, seven days a week, in multiple languages.

On Monday, the ministry said, “The portal also provides the possibility of issuing visas electronically, to meet the aspirations of the honourable pilgrims of these countries and to ensure quick and easy procedures.”

Through the portal, the pilgrim can ensure that he meets the conditions including, full vaccination against COVID-19, under the age of 65 (i.e. born after 1-7-1957) and obtaining a negative PCR result before leaving), with priority given to those who have not performed Haj pilgrimage before.

These services come within the framework of the ministry’s strategy to develop the digital experience of pilgrims. These efforts aim to facilitate procedures and offer competitive prices for pilgrims from these countries.

It is noteworthy that the first pioneers of Haj pilgrims this year arrived on Saturday, June 4, through Prince Muhammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, coming from Indonesia, as part of a delegation of 450 pilgrims.

On Sunday, the ministry published pictures of the arrival of the pioneers of the pilgrims of the state of Bangladesh, where they arrived in Jeddah, amid a warm welcome from Saudi and Bengal officials.

In a related context, the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced the launch of the “Makkah Route Initiative” for the fourth year in a row in five countries, namely Morocco, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The initiative aims to end the services of its beneficiaries in their countries, starting with issuing the visa electronically, taking the vital characteristics, and passing through the completion of passport procedures at the airport of the country of departure after verifying the availability of health requirements.

According to the initiative, baggage is coded and sorted according to transportation and housing arrangements in the Kingdom, and upon arrival, they move directly to buses to take them to their places of residence in Makkah and Madinah, with designated paths, while the service agencies deliver their luggage to their homes.

On Sunday, June 5, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed that the applicant for Hajj can add a companion and designate him as a mahram  provided that he did not perform Hajj during the previous five years.

This came in response to a question about the mechanism of adding a Muharram with her in Hajj when she was registered, to which the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah replied by saying, “The main applicant for Hajj can add an attendant and appoint him as a Muharram, provided that he has not performed Hajj during the previous five years.”

On Friday, June 3, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced the start of the registration period for the Haj pilgrimage for citizens and residents in the Kingdom.

The ministry said that the registration of Haj for domestic pilgrims will last for nine days until Saturday, June 11, adding that early registration would not be considered a privilege for the selection.

On Thursday, June 2, Saudi Arabia launched an electronic visa processing app for individuals planning to perform Umrah from outside the country.

Tawfiq Al Rabiah, Minister of Haj and Umrah, during a press conference on Thursday in Jordan announced, that the visit visa for Umrah will be issued now within 24 hours of submitting the application electronically.

On April 9, 2022, the ministry announced that one million – 850,000 foreigners and 150,000 domestic, will perform Hajj this year – less than half the number that used to during pre-pandemic days.

Among the 850,000 Muslims who will perform Haj this year, Australia has been allotted a quota of 2,090, the USA a quota of 9,504, the United Kingdom (UK) 12, 348, Germany 4,125 and France a quota of 9,268 based on the population of Muslims in the respective countries.

Haj officially begins on the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah and ends on the 13th day of the same Islamic month. This year it falls between July 7 to 12. One million international and domestic pilgrims will perform Haj this year.

This post was last modified on June 7, 2022 3:06 pm

Sakina Fatima

Sakina Fatima, a digital journalist with Siasat.com, has a master's degree in business administration and is a graduate in mass communication and journalism. Sakina covers topics from the Middle East, with a leaning towards human interest issues.

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