Hajj 2023 Returning to Pre-Covid Levels

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Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah stated that the number of people participating in this year’s Hajj will return to pre-pandemic levels and there will be no age limit for Hajj pilgrims this year….reports Asian Lite News

Saudi Arabia on Monday announced that there will be no limit on the number of pilgrims for this year’s Hajj, country’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said.

Speaking at the Hajj Expo 2023, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah stated that the number of people participating in this year’s Hajj will return to pre-pandemic levels and there will be no age limit for Hajj pilgrims this year.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah tweeted, “During the opening of #Hajj_Expo 2023, H.E. Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq AlRabiah announces: ‘Number of Hajj pilgrims in 1444H will return to how it was before the Coronavirus pandemic without age restrictions’.”

About 2.5 million people took part in the pilgrimage in 2019, Arab News reported. However, the number of pilgrims was reduced for the next two years due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier on January 5, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that people living in the country wanting to perform Hajj this year can apply for pilgrimage, it was reported. The ministry said that there would be four categories of Hajj packages available for local residents.

The people applying for pilgrimage must have national or resident identity valid until the middle of July, as per the Arab News report. Pilgrims need to have proof of COVID-19 and seasonal influenza vaccination.

In addition, they need to obtain a vaccination certificate for the ACYW quadruple meningitis vaccine at least 10 days prior to arriving at the holy sites. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah called on all applicants to register directly through its website and not to make use of the same mobile number for more than one application.

Hajj Expo 2023

Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Governor of Makkah Region and Advisor to the King Salman, and Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Madinah Region, inaugurated the Hajj and Umrah Services Conference and Exhibition “Expo Hajj” 2023, in Jeddah yesterday.

81 speakers from the public and private sectors from inside and outside the Kingdom, as well as high-level delegations of ministers of religious affairs, heads of Hajj missions and higher authorities from more than 57 countries, are participating in the second edition of the Expo.

Delivering a speech at the event, Minister Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah said: “I bring you two good news in this meeting: the first: the return of the numbers of pilgrims to what they were before the pandemic without any age restrictions.”

The second one, he said the Kingdom will allow any Hajj mission from around the world to deal with any licensed company that meets the requirements. In addition, it has also reduced the cost of insurance for Umrah performers by 63%; from SAR235 to SAR88, effective today, as well as reducing the cost of insurance for pilgrims by 73%; from SAR109 to SAR29.”

He said that any person coming to the Kingdom with an Umrah visa can visit any city in the Kingdom, and any visitor to the Kingdom will be allowed to perform Umrah at any time.

Al-Rabiah stressed the keenness of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to improve and develop all services and solutions provided to pilgrims and Umrah performers through the development of regulations and legislation in the Hajj and Umrah system.

He pointed out that the authorities supervising the affairs of pilgrims and Umrah performers in the countries of the Islamic world gather, and the early signing of Hajj agreements reflects the keenness and continuous effort to provide the best services to pilgrims and Umrah performers smoothly and easily, in partnership with the concerned authorities from 70 different parties.

On the sidelines of the opening ceremony, the participants watched a visual presentation highlighting the Kingdom’s efforts in serving the pilgrims, followed by the launch of the “Made in Makkah and Madinah” initiative by the Governors of Makkah and Madinah regions.

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