RIYADH, 13 June – The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia announced the closure of domestic pilgrims registration after it exceeded 390,000 applications, the ministry spokesperson Hesham Saeed said.
Following the closure of requests, the ministry will announce the names of pilgrims after a draw, as the selection of pilgrims will be conducted by an e-lottery with a special priority given to people who have not performed Hajj before.
“The sorting and the e-draw process will begin to select nominators from pilgrims who meet with the requirements that have been previously announced by the ministry,” he said.
The pilgrims who have their requests accepted will receive a confirmation text message on their registered devices saying that they have been selected to perform Hajj for this season.
“The nominators will be given 48 hours to complete the payment of the fees for the selected packages, after which the Hajj permits will be issued to them,” he said.
The ministry has also slashed prices for the three hospitality packages for the Hajj season this year.
The “Al-Abraj” package now costs SR13,943.75 ($3,716.33) per pilgrim, the “Developed Tents” package is SR11,970.35, and the “Undeveloped Tents” package cost SR9,098.80 per pilgrim. All prices are not inclusive of value-added tax and do not include land or air transportation to and from Makkah, the ministry said.
Saudi Arabia opened the registration for domestic pilgrims in June through the “Eatmarna” application and through the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s website.
The ministry announced earlier that those who wish to register for Hajj, whether they are residents or citizens should not exceed the age of 65, and must be fully vaccinated or demonstrate complete immunisation in the “Tawakkalna” health app.
The likely date for Hajj this year will be during the first or second week of July, with the final date to be confirmed after the sighting of the new moon of Dhul Hijjah.
Sources: Arab News/Agencies