Early preparation for next Hajj season vital.

The Ministry of Awqaf, represented by the Department of Hajj and Umrah Affairs, circulated to approved Hajj expeditions the need for early preparation for the next Hajj season, based on recommendations from the concerned Saudi authorities, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to reliable sources, a number of mechanisms and procedures will be adopted, most notably the completion of housing contracts and holy sites on February 25.

The issuance of Hajj visas will begin on March 1. The electronic track and the issuance of visas will be closed on April 29. The arrival of pilgrims to the holy land will begin on May 9. Electronic registration through the designated platform will open on September 1 for a period of two months. The sorting process will be according to three proposals, which will be submitted to the Higher Committee for Hajj to approve one of them. Priority will be given to those who have not performed Hajj previously.

The three proposals are:

• The first proposal – according to the lottery system.

• The second proposal – according to the age ratios, which are – – From the age of 50 years and over – by 25 percent of the 8,000 pilgrims – From the age of 30 to 49 years – by 50 percent – From the age of 18 to 30 years – by 25 percent.

• The third proposal – according to the oldest. Another proposal will be presented to the Higher Committee for Hajj, which is to divide the campaigns into three categories, namely:

1. The golden category – five percent of the pilgrims, as it will be required to provide five-star services, most notably modern cars of no less than 2024 model, and hotels overlooking the Haram and close to the central area, in addition to all VIP services.

2. The silver category – it is obligated to provide services such as housing near the sanctuary and not overlooking it, or in the central area, and cars of no less than 2021 model to pilgrims of this category.

3. The bronze category – it is obligated to provide four-star services only.

The sources stressed that the Ministry of Religious Endowments will adopt a new mechanism to address any rise in Hajj prices and reduce costs for pilgrims, which will be announced soon after discussion.

Source- Arab Times.

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