Of those registering, 60 percent were men and 40 percent were women
No priority will be given to those who apply early and registration will be open till June 23
JEDDAH: An electronic portal for domestic pilgrims received more than 450,000 applications within 24 hours of opening, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said.
Male registrations made up 60 percent and females 40 percent of the total applications, the ministry said.
Registration for those wishing to perform Hajj in 2021 is restricted to citizens and residents inside the Kingdom, with a total of 60,000 pilgrims, in light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, said that only those above 18 will be allowed to enter the holy sites during the Hajj season this year.
In an interview on Al-Ekhbariya TV channel, Mashat said that children will not be among groups receiving the vaccine and will not be permitted to enter the sites.
The deputy minister confirmed that the application for Hajj this year is available to all nationalities through the electronic portal.
Priority will be given to people over 50 who have never performed Hajj. Among the applicants for this year’s Hajj is the 25-year-old Saudi culture and engagement senior officer at Bupa Arabia, Mohammed Gamlo.
“I had a lot of doubts about Hajj this year; would I get to perform this year or not?” he told Arab News.
FASTFACTS • Male registrations made up 60% and females 40% of the total applications.
• Registration of domestic pilgrims must be completed before June 23.
• To avoid cancellation, a package must be bought within three hours of selection.
“I was so happy when the ministry made the announcement and I said to myself that I have to be among the first to register.”
If Gamlo’s application is accepted, this will be his first Hajj experience. “Every time I have tried to go for Hajj, it never worked out.”
He said that the limited number of pilgrims will ease the journey, adding that it is a good opportunity that might not happen again.
Commenting on improvements carried out by the ministry, Gamlo said: “Tents have been modernized, capacity has increased and transportation between holy sites have been facilitated, thanks to the train and the buses.”
On Tuesday, the ministry shared images on Twitter showing the completion of the first phase of camp allocations to institutions and companies for domestic pilgrims.
Ministry preparations will continue until the end of this week, in accordance with health requirements and standards to maintain the quality of services provided to pilgrims.
Registration of domestic pilgrims must be completed before June 23.
To avoid cancellation, a package must be bought within three hours of selection
Hajj without smart card, permit will not be allowed
arab.news/9fcnb Permit will be matched with the electronic card and the pilgrim’s ID
June 18, 2021
JEDDAH: In an effort to ensure compliance with coronavirus (COVID-19) safety measures, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed that no one will be allowed to perform Hajj without a smart card and a documented official permit.
Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, said that the permit will be matched with the electronic card and the pilgrim’s ID, noting that there is no platform to apply for Hajj except the official website of the ministry.
“Any company that offers service packages outside the ministry’s platform is violating the system,” he said.
“At the first stages of the ‘Eatmarna’ application, we noticed some violations by some entities and individuals, but with the passage of time, community awareness began to increase.”
Mashat said this year’s Hajj will use permits through the “Absher” platform only. Information for those who purchased their Hajj packages on the ministry’s platform will be linked to Absher and their ID.
According to the deputy minister, more than 470,000 applications have been received as of Wednesday at 5 p.m. as all met the conditions of immunization and have never performed Hajj before.
FASTFACT More than 470,000 applications have been received as of Wednesday at 5 p.m. as all met the conditions of immunization and have never performed Hajj before.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah called on all domestic pilgrims connected with the ministry to adhere to health instructions to enable those wishing to perform Hajj.
The ministry said resident locations will apply visual and thermal screening procedures upon pilgrims’ entrance and movement.
The allocated hotels in Makkah and Madinah must conform to the requirements listed by the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, and other bodies concerned with monitoring the accommodation of pilgrims.
The hotels must take into account the application of precautionary measures to prevent crowding inside rooms. The hotels also have to provide catering services for each pilgrim in his room as open buffets are banned.
A health guide (or health leader) from the concerned authority will be available during the pilgrims’ presence in the Hajj areas and during their movements.
This step comes to ensure the preventive measures. Pilgrims must consult a doctor if they suspect COVID-19 symptoms to ensure his safety and the safety of others.
Regarding the procedures in the holy sites, the Two Holy Mosques, and the central area in Makkah and Madinah, social distancing will be enforced throughout the grouping of pilgrims in all Hajj stages. This is in accordance with health requirements in residential buildings and tents. Pilgrims’ bags and baggage carts will be disinfected periodically.
Security guards will facilitate the exit of pilgrims from holy sites according to the time allotted to them and will ensure adherence to the number of pilgrims allowed in one space (no more than 50 people). Seat numbers on buses will be assigned to each pilgrim during the entire Hajj trip and standing inside busses will not be allowed. There will be an empty seat assigned between each pilgrim and carrying personal carry-on baggage will be prohibited.
In the case that a passenger suspects COVID-19 symptoms, the bus will be stopped and disinfected.
The ministries of health and hajj announced Saturday that a total of 60,000 pilgrims will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage this year, which will begin mid-July
The first category of people who met the conditions for performing Hajj received text messages on Friday.
Messages were considered a final approval only after meeting requirements according to the available places
MAKKAH: The Kingdom’s screening process to sort out this year’s Hajj applicants started on Friday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Dr. Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat, the deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, explained that the sorting operation was divided into several categories.
The first category of people who met the conditions for performing Hajj received text messages on Friday to access the ministry’s electronic portal and complete the registration process.
These messages were considered a final approval only after meeting the requirements according to the available places, he said.
The ministry has facilitated registration steps for issuing Hajj permits. These include logging into the electronic portal, verifying the applicant’s data, and the ability to add a companion provided that they have already registered on the portal for Hajj this year.
They also include reviewing and booking the available packages, accepting the terms and conditions, paying the reservation invoice electronically and, finally, obtaining a Hajj permit.
RIYADH: Anyone found attempting to access Makkah’s Grand Mosque, the area around it and the holy Hajj sites without a permit from Monday till the end of the annual pilgrimage will be fined SR10,000 ($2,666).
Holy sites include Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat, and the fine will be doubled if the offense is carried out twice, the interior ministry said.
The ministry called on all citizens and residents to abide by instructions issued regarding the Hajj season this year and said that security personnel will carry out their duties on all roads and paths leading to the Grand Mosque and the holy sites to prevent violations and issue penalties to violators.
The applications were sorted according to a specific mechanism such as the readiness of the pilgrim physically, taking into account if they had already performed Hajj
July 06, 2021
MAKKAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has confirmed it is fully prepared for this year’s Hajj season.
Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, stressed that the pace of work to ready the Kingdom’s holy sites will increase in the coming days, and all relevant sectors will complete the requirements for receiving pilgrims on time.
“The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has long developed strategic and operational plans related to Hajj activities in cooperation with more than 30 entities, from various private, government and security sectors,” he added.
In an interview broadcast on Riyadh Radio, Mashat said that pilgrim residences at the holy sites are ready, as are gathering points around Makkah, stressing that there is an integrated plan to make this year’s season safe and secure.
Pilgrims’ tents at Arafat, as well as facilities in Mina and other areas where pilgrims will stay in Muzdalifah have all been inspected.
“The environment … this year will be different from the previous Hajj seasons. It will be a healthy environment, ensuring social distancing between the pilgrims during the entire journey, thanks to large camps allowing continuous air movement, thus eliminating any risks,” said Mashat.
He pointed out that the Saudi government has created an integrated transportation network connecting all relevant sites across the region.
The ministry has long developed strategic and operational plans related to Hajj activities in cooperation with more than 30 entities.
Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat
“There will be buses transporting pilgrims from their residence … to the arrival station,” he said. “The authorities are currently developing the final plan for transport with the security authorities, which will be revealed very soon, accompanied by an awareness program targeting pilgrims via their smart phones or through social media platforms.”
Mashat said pilgrims performing Hajj this season have never been on the pilgrimage before. “In June, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah began to receive applications. We received, in ten days, over 500,000 applications, while the target number was 60,000.
“The applications were sorted according to a specific mechanism such as the readiness of the pilgrim physically, taking into account if they had already performed Hajj. The data was also sorted out by age groups, with priority initially given to those over 50 years of age from all nationalities residing in the Kingdom.”
The pilgrims were distributed across 190 companies offering three packages. Mashat said the chosen pilgrims will start arriving on July 17 and 18, and that buses that used to accommodate 50 pilgrims in the past will accommodate just 20 this year.
He added that pilgrims’ smart cards would be essential during their stay, providing them with information of significant help to them and service providers.
Ahmed Saleh Halabi, a journalist and writer specializing in Hajj and Umrah services, said: “This year’s Hajj season comes while the coronavirus disease pandemic is still ravaging the world. Some believed that the performance of the Hajj (would have to) stop, after some countries closed their borders, but the Saudi leadership was keen to hold the Hajj season, in a way that guarantees the safety of pilgrims, in limited numbers, and in accordance with precautionary and preventive measures.”
He added: “Last year’s Hajj season was an exceptional season as a result of the outbreak of the pandemic, and the government of the Kingdom has enabled pilgrims to perform their rituals with security and tranquility, gaining good experience in organizing and managing crises and overcoming the pressures imposed by the virus.”
Saudi Arabia’s decision to limit Hajj to citizens and residents within the Kingdom confirms the government’s keenness to maintain the safety, health and security of pilgrims, in line with Islam, that calls on preserving human life, he said.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has called on people to sight the crescent of Dhu Al-Hijjah on Friday evening.
Dhu Al-Hijjah is the month during which the Hajj pilgrimage takes place and is the last month of the Islamic calendar.
Anyone who sights the crescent on Friday after sunset should inform the nearest court.
This year, the first of Dhu Al-Hijjah will fall on either July 10 or July 11 depending on the sighting of the crescent. Hajj will start on Dhu Al-Hijjah 8 and end on Dhu Al-Hijjah 12.
Muslims are required to perform Hajj once in their lifetime if they are healthy and have the financial means to do so.
Around 60,000 people from the Kingdom will perform Hajj this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a dramatically reduced figure compared to the 2.5 million people who performed the pilgrimage in pre-pandemic 2019
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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