Hajj saudi arabia grand mosque
Worshippers throng the courtyard of the Grand Mosque around the Holy Kaaba. Image Credit: The Saudi Ministry of Hajj

Cairo: Saudi Arabia is set to open new buildings to accommodate domestic pilgrims in the valley of Mina during the current Islamic Hajj pilgrimage season, according to a Saudi newspaper.

Mina, located east of the Saudi holy city of Mecca, is where Muslim pilgrims perform the ritual of symbolic devil stoning as part of the annual Hajj rites. Mina is also known as the City of Tents due to its large numbers of tents pitched for the pilgrims.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj plans to shortly launch a Hajj package linked to the new buildings, lying about a kilometre from the multi-level Jamarat structure where the ritual pebble casting is performed, Okaz reported.

Each of the new buildings comprises five floors and is equipped with three elevators for pilgrims and an extra elevator for services.

Their rooms have been designed in a way that makes each accommodate from 25 to 30 pilgrims, the paper quoted unidentified sources as saying.

The new package, the pricing of which was not revealed, will provide 11,000 places for domestic pilgrims.

In February, Saudi Arabia opened e-registration for its citizens and Muslim expatriates who wish to perform Hajj due this year in June.

The Ministry of Hajj launched four pilgrimage packages with their prices ranging from SR4,099 to SR13,265 depending on accommodation level.

The ministry also said prices of these packages could be paid in three instalments, the last expired on April 29.

Hajj is one of Islam’s five obligatory duties. Muslims, who can physically and financially afford Hajj, have to perform it at least once in a lifetime.