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Hajj, one of Islam’s five obligatory duties, is due in late June this year. Image Credit: Reuters file

Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s labour authorities have said that agencies engaged in the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage services can obtain temporary work permits for foreigners and Saudis employed to cover needs during the Hajj season.

The permits can be issued via Ajeer, a portal managing temporary work permits for foreign nationals in the kingdom, the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development.

Ajeer also helps meet the job market and makes use of manpower in Saudi Arabia instead of recruiting workers from abroad.

The establishments allowed to apply for Hajj work permits include those in charge of domestic pilgrims, non-governmental groups approved by competent government bodies and workplaces operating in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina as well as the port city of Jeddah, the ministry said.

According to Hajj employment rules for individuals, a Saudi job seeker should be at least 18 years old, while the expatriate should already be employed in the kingdom and secure approval from the original employer to temporarily work during the Hajj season.

Hajj, one of Islam’s five obligatory duties, is due in late June this year.

Saudi Arabia has said that there will be no limits on the numbers of pilgrims from around the world for the coming Hajj season, reversing earlier restrictions prompted by the pandemic.

In the past two years, Saudi Arabia downsized the numbers of Muslims allowed to perform the Hajj rites to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Around 2.5 million Muslims used to attend Hajj annually in the pre-pandemic times.