Hajj pilgrims perform the Farewell Tawaf
The new legislation aims to curtail unauthorised and subpar Hajj service operations. Image Credit: SPA/Twitter

Dubai: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced strict penalties, including a hefty fine of SR500,000, for entities practicing Hajj service activities without the necessary licenses.

The regulations come as part of the draft Law for Service Providers of Hajj Pilgrims, expected to be enforced 90 days after its publication in the Official Gazette.

Designed to uphold and enhance the quality of services provided to both domestic and foreign pilgrims, this new legislation aims to curtail unauthorised and subpar Hajj service operations.

Repeat offenders operating without a license might face even more stringent measures, with fines potentially doubling and expatriates facing deportation.

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In addition to financial penalties, the draft law proposes a series of punitive actions, ranging from official warnings and classification downgrades to license cancellations.

The ministry reserves the right to reassign services from violators to other authorized providers and to seek compensation for any ensuing financial repercussions.

Service providers are mandated to meet the standards set by the ministry, with a specific emphasis on offering high-quality services. In the case of failure to provide or if substandard services are offered, providers will be obliged to compensate the affected pilgrims.

Violators have a 60-day period to challenge any punitive decision in the competent court. Furthermore, penalties, especially those related to unauthorized service provision, will be publicised in local media outlets, with expenses shouldered by the offender.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said it is actively seeking public feedback on this draft law and encourages the public to voice their thoughts through the Istitlaa platform.