Thousands of pilgrims leave Riyadh for Makkah

Grand Mosque In Makkah

A fleet of luxury coaches carrying thousands of local Haj pilgrims donning ihram left for Makkah on Monday.

This year, various Dawa groups and Haj operators in the capital came out with attractive travel packages for local pilgrims to suit their individual needs.

Around 200,000 pilgrims from the Kingdom are expected to perform Haj this year. The passport department issued Haj permits for domestic pilgrims. The department has warned people not proceed on the pilgrimage without a valid permit given by the authorities.

The Dawa Center in Rawdah has offered an eight-day package for SR3,500 for bachelors which includes all three meals during the journey. The pilgrims start from Riyadh on Monday.

According to the organizer from the center, the organization provides an equal amount as subsidy for each pilgrim. Besides the meals, pilgrims will be given comfortable accommodation in Mina, transport within the holy city of Makkah and a guide to help them perform the Haj rituals correctly.

“We have divided the groups by the languages spoken by the pilgrims. The languages are Tamil, Urdu, Bengali and Tagalog,” he said.

The Dawa groups in Shifa and Dallah have also arranged their own packages ranging from SR3,500 to 4,500 per pilgrim. These services are restricted to bachelors.

The concessionary travel was given first to Muslim converts and then to first timers. Subsequently, the organizers considered the other applicants.

A private group,which is linked to a Haj operator offers SR7,500 per pilgrim who goes with his family. “During the pilgrimage, we look after all the needs of the pilgrims except the animal slaughter,” spokesman from the group told Arab News, adding that the pilgrims have to spend for the animal and the slaughtering charges. He explained that those who cannot afford to slaughter an animal can fast for 10 days in lieu of it.

The spokesman said that the offer was open both to families and bachelors who wish to perform the pilgrimage this year. He added that the increase in the package price is solely due to the increased cost of accommodation, transport and food expenses.


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