Hajj 2024: Saudi Arabia to license more Companies to serve overseas pilgrims

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Saudi Arabia plans to increase the number of companies licensed to provide services for overseas pilgrims during the annual Hajj pilgrimage season, according to a local newspaper.


New rules set the licensing duration for five years that can be renewed in line with certain regulations with the licensing and renewal fees estimated at SR100,000, Okaz said, quoting what it termed as well-informed sources.

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“The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is looking into a mechanism to publish findings of evaluation of the licensed companies on an annual basis, using media that it sees appropriate to ensure transparency for pilgrims or their representatives,” the sources said.


The paper cited a licensing draft that gives the ministry the right to suspend granting licences, reduce or increase the number of pilgrims served by licensed companies according to dictates of regulations and common good.

Based on the licensing guidelines, the company should have a valid trade register and a wholly Saudi capital that should be at least SR500,000 to serve a maximum of 10,000 pilgrims.


Moreover, the company’s director-general should be a Saudi national, not less than 25 years in age, holding at least a secondary school degree and has previous experience in pilgrim service. The director should not have been handed down a court ruling in a dishonouring or a breach of trust case. Likewise, neither the director, the board chairman nor any member of the board of directors should have previously been penalised by having a service licence granted by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah revoked.


Saudi Arabia 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. Places for different countries will be designated depending on finalising contracts.


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, according to Saudi official figures.


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