More than 450,000 people in Saudi Arabia apply to perform Hajj

More than 450,000 people in Saudi Arabia have applied to perform Hajj this year within 24 hours of the registration platform opening, according to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

“The digital path received more than 450,000 applications to perform Hajj, including residents and nationals, within the first 24 hours of opening registration,” the ministry said in an infographic on Tuesday.

According to the announcement, 60 percent of the applicants were males while 40 percent were females.

A picture taken on July 29, 2020 shows pilgrims while social distancing as a coronavirus preventative measure while circumambulating around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the centre of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, at the start of the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage. (AFP)
A picture taken on July 29, 2020 shows pilgrims while social distancing as a coronavirus preventative measure while circumambulating around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the centre of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, at the start of the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage. (AFP)

For the first time ever, Saudi Arabia has allowed women to register for the annual pilgrimage without a male guardian.

“Those wishing to perform Hajj will have to register individually. Women can register without a mahram (male guardian) along with other women,” the ministry explained in an infograph on Sunday.

The Kingdom will limit this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to 60,000 residents and nationals living in the Kingdom due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Those who are between the ages of 18-65 and are fully vaccinated, have received their first dose at least 14 days prior, or those who are vaccinated and have recovered from a COVID-19 infection are allowed to register.

The registration portal was launched on June 13 at 1 p.m. while there was no priority for early registration.

“The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirms that the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia always prioritizes the safety, health and security of pilgrims,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The Hajj pilgrimage this year is expected to begin mid-July. The link to register can be accessed here: localhaj.haj.gov.sa

By : Joanne Serrieh – AL ARABIYA

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