Hajj
Around 2.5 million Muslims from around the world used to attend Hajj in Saudi Arabia every year before the pandemic. Image Credit: Wikimedia

Cairo: Registration has ended for Muslims residing in Saudi Arabia and wishing to perform this year’s annual Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi media reported.

More than 390,000 applicants have registered for Hajj after a nine-day process that ended at midnight Saturday, Saudi television Al Ekhbariya said.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that successful nominees for the upcoming pilgrimage will be announced later Sunday.

Picking the nominees will be conducted through an electronic draw, the ministry said, adding that priorities for selection will be for the fully vaccinated applicants and those who did not perform Hajj in the past.

After the end of registration via the Eatmarna app and an electronic track designated by the ministry, sorting out and the e-draw will be carried out to select the nominees to whom Hajj conditions apply, a spokesman for the ministry has said.

Nominees will be informed via text messages, Hesham Saeed has added.

The would-be pilgrims will be given 48 hours to pay fees for their preferred Hajj packages.

Saudi Arabia has said it will allow 1 million pilgrims from inside and outside the kingdom to perform this year’s Hajj due next month, after restricting the annual ritual to some thousands of Muslims living inside the country for the last two years due to COVID-19 outbreak.

The figure will include around 150,000 pilgrims residing in Saudi Arabia, according to Saed Al Juhani, the acting head of the Coordination Council for Domestic Pilgrims.

The open buffet service will also be reintroduced after a suspension of two years due to pandemic-related restrictions, he said last month. Eligible pilgrims this year must be under 65, fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and present a negative PCR test result.

Around 2.5 million Muslims from around the world used to attend Hajj in Saudi Arabia every year before the pandemic.