Cairo: A committee in charge of housing for pilgrims in the Medina has said that the deadline for applying for the licence of such buildings will expire in a two weeks’ time as part of early preparations for the upcoming Islamic Hajj pilgrimage.
The panel has set the deadline by the end of the current Islamic month of Rajab, corresponding to February 10. The committee has urged landlords interested in obtaining related permits for their buildings to check with it and make sure of meeting requirements in advance.
Many Muslim pilgrims head to Medina, home to Islam’s second holiest site, before or after performing Hajj rites in and around the Saudi holy city of Mecca where the Grand Mosque, Islam’s most sacred place, is located.
Saudi Arabia has already set rules for this year’s Hajj due in June.
According to these rules, no specific places would be allotted any more for countries at the holy sites in the new Hajj season. Instead, places for different countries will be designated depending on finalising contracts.
“The country that concludes early contracts will be given the priority in taking the appropriate places in the holy places,” Saudi Ministry of Hajj Tawfiq Al Rabiah has said.
The issuance of Hajj visas will commence on March 1 and end on the 20th of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar corresponding to April 29. The arrival of Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia will begin on the first day of Dhul Qadah, the 11th Islamic month, corresponding to May 9.
The new mechanism is geared towards facilitating preparations for Hajj, an obligatory Islamic duty.
Nearly 2 million pilgrims from around the world last year performed Hajj, marking the return of their numbers to pre-pandemic levels.