Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr Umar Tawfiq AR Rabiah has said that tents will be allocated to Hajj participating countries during next year’s Hajj based on first time, first bases with regards to payment of service in Mina.
Mr Rabiah stated this on Friday during an event attended by heads of Hajj Missions at the headquarters of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
The event was convent to formally bring an end to the 2023 Hajj pilgrimage and announce the beginning of preparations for Hajj 2023.
The Minister announced that the first Hajj Mission to conclude all preparations will have the opportunity to choose its preferred locations at the Masha’er for 2024 Hajj.
There have been widespread complaints by Hajj participating countries of Inadequate provision of bed spaces for pilgrims in Mina this year. Nigeria in particular officially protested and was given additional 10,000 bed spaces, which was still inadequate.
Authorities had earlier announced that about 40% of pilgrims this year will proceed straight to Arafat from Makkah due to lack of enough spaces. Hajj 2023 is the full Hajj operation past the Covid 19 pandemic.
During his speech, the Minister thanked all agencies and Hajj missions for their role which led to a successful Hajj 2023 exercise. He also reaffirmed the Kingdom’s commitment to serving the Guests of Allah in the best manner possible by obtaining feedback from Hajj Missions and improving on its services.
He thereafter unveiled a roadmap for the 2024 Hajj which, he said, begins immediately with the issuance of letters to each country that announced the commencement of preparations and confirmation of its slots for 2024 Hajj.
Some of the highlights of the roadmap include:
Holding of preparatory meetings: – September 16th, 2023 – 4th November 2023;
International Hajj Symposium and Exhibition: January 8th, 2024
Conclusion of Accommodation and Masha’er Contracts: February 25th, 2024.
Commencement of Visa Issuance: March 1st, 2024.
Closing of Visa Issuance: April 29th, 2024.
Arrival of 1st set of 2024 Pilgrims into Saudi Arabia: 9th May, 2024
The highlight of the event was the announcement of winners for the 2023 Labbaikum Hajj Services award in which Iraq emerged the overall best Hajj Mission for the 2023 Hajj.
Countries such as Malaysia, The Gambia, Bahrain, Singapore, South Africa and Azerbaijan were also recognized for excellence in various aspects of Hajj operations.
Additional reporting from Muhammad Ahmad, NAHCON Makkah Operations Office.