Saudi Arabia: E-portal to book Haj packages for the selected domestic pilgrims

Cairo: Saudi authorities are set to launch today an electronic portal for booking and purchasing packages of this year’s downsized Haj pilgrimage.

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The Ministry of Haj and Umrah said that the portal will operate as of today (Friday) at 2pm (3pm UAE time) for 15 days.

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On Wednesday, registration for the Haj ended after a 10-day period. The names of 60,000 selected domestic pilgrims are due to be announced today out of the 558,270 Muslims who have applied to perform the major Islamic duty.

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Males account for 59 per cent of the applicants while the rest are women, according to official figures.

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The Ministry of Haj and Umrah has designated three packages for this year’s pilgrimage, online newspaper Sabq reported.

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The first is dubbed “Distinguished Hospitality Towers”, with a price starting at SR16,560 per pilgrim exclusive the value-added tax, according to Sabq.

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The second package “Distinguished Hospitality Camps”, starts at a cost of SR14,381 per pilgrim exclusive the VAT tax.

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The third is “Hospitality Camps” with a price starting at SR12,113 per pilgrim exclusive the VAT tax.

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Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia said that due to the continuation of COVID-19 and its variants, performing this year’s Haj will be confined to 60,000 pilgrims from Saudis and foreign residents in the kingdom.

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Eligible pilgrims must be vaccinated with at least one dose against COVID-19, free of chronic diseases and aged between 18 to 65 years.

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Selection of the pilgrims does not depend on early registration, but on meeting conditions set for attending the Haj that will be organised amid stringent health conditions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Last year’s Haj was performed by a limited number of Saudis and foreign Muslims residing in Saudi Arabia to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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More than 2 million Muslims usually perform the Haj, which is one of Islam’s five pillars.

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