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Global - October 28, 2023

Hajj 2024: Makkah to have more pilgrims’ housing facilities

The official expected the number to exceed 5,000 buildings by the next Hajj season.

 

The number of buildings to house Muslim pilgrims during next year’s Hajj pilgrimage season is expected to increase in the Saudi holy city of Mecca, according to a local official.

 

Authorities in the city have so far issued licences for 3,800 buildings of different sizes and rooms to be used for accommodating pilgrims during the upcoming Hajj, said Osama Zaytuni, a spokesman for the Mecca mayoralty.

The official expected the number to exceed 5,000 buildings by the next Hajj season.

In remarks to the Saudi TV Al Ekhbariya, Zaytuni urged owners of buildings to be allocated for pilgrim housing to hurry up and register to avoid overcrowding.

Nearly 2 million pilgrims from around the world performed annual Hajj in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, marking the return of their numbers to pre-pandemic levels.

New rules
Saudi Arabia has recently disclosed rules for the upcoming Hajj season and stressed early preparations.

According to these rules, no specific places would be allotted for countries at the Saudi holy sites in the new pilgrimage season, Saudi Minister of Hajj Tawfiq Al Rabiah has said.

 

He explained that places for different countries will be designated depending on finalising contracts. “From now on, each country will start getting ready for the next year’s Hajj to guarantee delivery of high-quality services to Guests of Allah (pilgrims),” Al Rabiah said at the end of Hajj rites.

 

“The country that concludes early contracts will be given the priority in taking the appropriate places at the holy places,” he said.

 

Hajj visas

The issuance of Hajj visas will commence on March 1 and end on the 20th of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar corresponding to April 29.

 

The arrival of Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia will begin on the first of Dhul Qaidah, the 11th Islamic month, corresponding to May 9.

 

The new mechanism is geared towards facilitating preparations for Hajj, an obligatory Islamic duty.

 

Around 1.8 million pilgrims attended this year’s Hajj in and around Mecca, according to Saudi official figures.

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