Haj: 50% tent capacity for ‘low-cost pilgrims’

The use of illegal tents by pilgrims who cannot afford the rising expenses of performing Haj may soon become a thing of the past as providers are now being assigned to provide low-cost Haj services to their clients.

The use of illegal tents by pilgrims who cannot afford the rising expenses of performing Haj may soon become a thing of the past as providers are now being assigned to provide low-cost Haj services to their clients.

Haj service companies have been instructed by the ministry to allocate 50 percent of their tent capacity to provide low-cost services.

Haj Minister Bandar Hajjar met with representatives of domestic Haj service firms and urged them to provide the best possible services to their pilgrims.

“We have allocated places for these firms in the holy sites and coordinated with government agencies to provide them with water and electricity and other facilities,” the minister said.

The ministry warned low-cost service providers that they would be banned for one season or more if they violate contracts signed with pilgrims.

Hajjar has approved the mechanism for accepting electronic applications for low-cost services from Saudis and expats.

The ministry, which has opened a website for receiving applications, said it would punish companies that try to manipulate the electronic applications.

“Forty-one thousand pilgrims will benefit from low-cost Haj services this year,” Saad Al-Qurashi, a member of the National Haj & Umrah Committee, told Arab News.

Sixty-three companies are offering the service and their names have been published on the ministry’s website. Companies have to open bank accounts to receive payments from pilgrims.

Each pilgrim needs to pay through the bank within 48 hours after registering. They will have another 48 hours to visit Haj companies to present necessary documents and sign the contract.

“The domestic Haj department will follow up the status of electronic applicants,” a ministry official said, adding that companies must call qualified applicants, especially those who have made bank payments, to complete the procedures.

 
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