There is no change in Qatar’s quota of Haj pilgrims for this year (1437 AH), which remains at 1,200 pilgrims, and efforts are under way to raise the quota, Director of the Haj and Umrah Affairs Department at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Ali Sultan al-Mesaifri said yesterday.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Ali Sultan al-Mesaifri said that the number of applicants for Haj this year amounted to nearly 18,400 Qataris and residents, but the State’s quota is still 1,200 pilgrims due to the ongoing expansion operations of Al-Haram in the holy city of Makkah. However, hopefully the quota will be increased due to the large turnout, he added.
Al-Mesaifri announced that the selection process has been completed for the applicants who meet the conditions. The approved applicants have been informed via text messages, and given one week to choose and register for the pilgrimage.
He warned that an applicant will be automatically eliminated in the event of failure to register within the period granted.
He pointed out that this year the number of licensed Haj pilgrimage trips has reached 27 - 16 by air and 11 by land. However, a pilgrimage group can leave only if the number of applicants reaches 50.
Speaking about the new instructions of the Saudi Haj authorities, he stressed that Saudi Arabia is keen to provide Haj missions in all countries with new procedures that are always in the interest of the pilgrims and their safety and security.
He said that the Haj Affairs Department held a meeting with operators of pilgrimage tours and informed them about the new instructions and listened to their suggestions, noting that another meeting will be held soon to discuss the final arrangements for this season.
The director of Haj affairs commended the pilgrimage tour operators’ co-operation with the ministry and their response to all instructions, and their commitment to provide quality services and all means of comfort to the pilgrims.
He also praised the Haj authorities in Saudi Arabia for their co-operation with the Qatari Haj Mission, and their keenness to serve the pilgrims and facilitate the smooth performance of their rituals, stressing continuous communication with them to serve the pilgrims.
Al-Mesaifri reaffirmed the Ministry’s commitment to ensure the security, safety and comfort of the pilgrims, noting that the Department of Umrah and Haj Affairs is upgrading its work constantly taking advantage of modern techniques in order to ensure an appropriate atmosphere for pilgrims.
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