Saudi Arabia launches online registration of Hajj pilgrims


RIYADH, FEB 17 (DNA) — The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has launched the online registration facility for Hajj pilgrims from 58 countries. For this purpose, Saudi Arabia unveiled an e-platform to facilitate the arrival of Muslim pilgrims from around 58 countries for this year’s Hajj.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj said the new service enables pilgrims to apply, make reservations and make e-payments, as well as select Hajj-related services such as accommodation, meals, flights, guidance and transportation packages.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced the launch of the platform for Hajj pilgrims from Europe, America and Australia as part of the government’s initial efforts to simplify procedures for the upcoming Hajj season.

Countries covered by the platform include France, Germany, USA, UK, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Argentina, Greece, Georgia, Switzerland, Cyprus, Denmark, Venezuela, Ukraine, Norway, Trinidad and Tobago, Finland, Colombia, Ireland, Romania, Croatia, New Zealand, Serbia, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Panama, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Cuba, Guatemala, Uruguay and Nicaragua.

The portal has been facilitated in seven languages, from where the candidates will first create a profile to avail the services, enter all the necessary information about themselves, then the Haj candidates will search for the required facilities and make bookings.

To avail these facilities, the pilgrims have to attach necessary documents and papers while depositing the package amount, Visa and MasterCard, bank transfer and cash on the Saadad system through the Service Center located in the countries of the Haj pilgrims.

This has been provided to enrich the religious and cultural experience of the large number of pilgrims performing Hajj this year 2023, as part of the Saudi government’s initial efforts to ease the arrival process. The quality of the services provided will also be high while also achieving the vision 2030 programmes of the Target Kingdom.

The Saudi government has said the minimum age for performing this year’s Hajj is 12 years, as the number of intending pilgrims return to the pre-pandemic era.

Saudi Ministry of Hajj has also pointed out that priority for registering to undertake this year’s pilgrimage would be given to first timers. The ministry added that only Muslims holding Hajj visas or those with legal residency in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to undertake the pilgrimage rites.

The ministry had earlier unveiled four packages for domestic pilgrims wishing to attend the 2023 Hajj with costs ranging from SR3984 to SR11,841. According to the ministry, details of these packages and transportation fees depend on types of transport means and the pilgrim’s departure city en route to Hajj.

The ministry said there will be no limits on the numbers of pilgrims from around the world for the upcoming pilgrimage, reversing earlier restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in the past two years. In the past two years, Saudi Arabia has reduced the number of Muslims allowed to perform the Hajj rites to prevent the spread of the virus.

Around 2.5 million Muslims used to attend Hajj yearly in the pre-pandemic times. Muslims, who can, physically and financially, afford Hajj, have to perform it at least once in a lifetime. — DNA