Saudi’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah earlier expressed enthusiasm as the country prepares to host the biggest pilgrimage for both foreign and domestic visitors in the upcoming Hajj season. In addition, the authorities announced Hajj 2022 packages and bookings for domestic pilgrims.
The Ministry announced that domestic pilgrims preparing to take part in the Hajj pilgrimage 2022 are allowed to register themselves and book their choice of Hajj packages from the available options. Priority would be given to pilgrims who have not appeared for Hajj before and are fully vaccinated.
Earlier authorized and unauthorized agents both were booking domestic and foreign pilgrims’ for their accommodation, transport, and other such services. They were largely unorganized and worked without much surveillance. But this year onwards, the country has made booking all such services easier and more transparent. These agents and companies are now catering to the pilgrims through the Hajj authorities’ official website and app. Only trusted companies are available to provide their services.
Domestic pilgrims now need to visit the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s official website or get the Eatmarna app to choose their package and complete their registration. These packages will include the companies that are providing their services. All applications will be recorded, and arrangements will be made accordingly.
Hajj 2022 packages and bookings
Domestic pilgrims will be allowed to stay in Mina’s residential towers, in normal tents with full facilities or sophisticated tents akin to hotel rooms, a new kind of lodging being provided for the first time. Food will be provided in buffets, as opposed to the previous two years, when pilgrims used to get individual meals in compliance with pandemic guidelines and restrictions.
The pilgrimage is available to anybody under age 65 who has been immunized against COVID-19 using vaccinations recognized by the Kingdom. However, access to the holy city of Makkah has been restricted as the city prepares to conduct the pilgrimage that is about to take place from July 7 to July 12. In 2019, the year before the pandemic, around 2 million pilgrims from all around the globe participated in Hajj. Saudi officials authorized just a thousand domestic pilgrims to participate in 2020 but increased the limit to 60,000 in 2021 as the people in the Kingdom were getting vaccinated.
Earlier, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that the country is planning to expand its hosting capacity for the Hajj pilgrimage from this year onwards. The authorities highlighted that this year as many as 1 million foreign pilgrims would be performing Hajj as the COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed. While talking about domestic pilgrims, it was observed that as many as 1,50,000 have registered for Hajj in 2022. To be able to enter Saudi Arabia, foreign pilgrims will have to submit a negative COVID PCR test conducted within 72 hours before they enter Saudi territory.
Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is the biggest and the most important event for a Muslim. It is the once-in-a-lifetime duty of a Muslim to visit the place if the person can afford it. The last two years were a nightmare for foreign and domestic people planning to appear for the pilgrimage. The seats were highly restricted, with limited services. With Vision 2030 in mind, the country plans to conduct a full-scale Hajj with maximum safety and security from this year onwards.
Suggested Read: Hajj – The Primary Muslim Pilgrimage To Mecca: Rules, Rituals And More