Haj made affordable

Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz

Domestic Haj companies have forged an alliance to provide 10,000 local pilgrims the opportunity to perform Haj this year for SR2,750. The price for a low-cost Haj will range between SR2,750 and SR5,000 while those wanting extra services have to pay SR9,800 and more. Pilgrims opting for low-cost services will be given tents in different parts of Mina, said Saad Al-Qurashi, chairman of the Haj and Umrah Committee at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Saudi Crown Prince Salman  Bin Abdul Aziz
Saudi Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz

Pilgrims who want to stay close to the Jamarat have to pay SR5,000 for A1 category, SR4,800 for A2, SR4,400 for B and SR4,150 for C. Pilgrims who applied for D1 category, located between King Abdul Aziz Bridge and the Muzdalifah border, have to pay SR3,600 while those staying in tents closer to Muzdalifah will pay SR2,750, says an Arab News report.

“As many as 41,000 domestic pilgrims will benefit from low-cost Haj services this year,” said Al-Qurashi. Speaking with Arab News, he said 70 percent of these pilgrims would be selected by the Haj Ministry, while the rest would go through Haj service providers. Some 106 companies have signed a code of ethics to provide Haj services at low prices. He said the package price covers all services including food, accommodation, transport and Mashair Railway charges. “There are 204 licensed companies to serve domestic pilgrims,” he said, adding that many of them have received their tents in Mina and other holy places from the ministry.

“The early allocation of tents will play a big role in reducing charges,” Al-Qurashi said. He estimated the total number of domestic pilgrims this year at 150,000 after a 50 percent cut in their number due to ongoing Haram expansion projects. “This is the first time Mina tents are distributed among service providers before Ramadan,” he said and commended Haj Minister Bandar Hajjar for the initiative. He urged other government departments to follow the ministry’s example by quickly issuing visas for seasonal workers and easing procedures to rent buses from abroad.

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