Solo female pilgrims complete Hajj as male guardian rule is dropped

Female guides ensured their groups of women remained socially distanced and reached their destinations on time throughout Hajj

Women completing Hajj without a male guardian for the first time have compared the experience to pioneering space travel.

Millions usually take part in the pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, but this year just 60,000 pilgrims were allowed to participate because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Shortly before Hajj began, authorities said they would allow women to conduct the pilgrimage without a male relative, known as a “mahrem”, on the condition they go in a group.

The Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is a must for able-bodied Muslims with the means to do so at least once in their lifetime.

Women travelling without a male guardian said they enjoyed the experience.

“We were given special attention by the security forces, Hajj volunteers in the holy sites and by our group leaders who gave us the choice to board the same bus or stay in the same camps with relatives,” Iman, a British citizen, told The National.

She said women in her situation were contacted two weeks before the start of Hajj and put in touch with the women they would be travelling with, most of whom were conducting the pilgrimage alone and for the first time.

“Everyone has been so supportive, it did not feel like I am performing Hajj on my own but as if I have found a new family to perform the most spiritual journey of my life. It was very helpful, convenient and comfortable to have women volunteers in the camps that made the pilgrimage easier in every aspect,” Iman added.

Female guides made sure their groups of women remained socially distanced and reached their destinations on time throughout Hajj.

“We have a team of female volunteers and guides to help them personally and even translators who can speak in their languages to make them feel more comfortable,” a female guide told The National.

Widow Nadira said she never imagined being able to perform Hajj, as she has daughters and no male guardian available.

“I want to thank the government for making it easier for women like me to attend Hajj, which is a pillar of Islam and obligatory on all Muslims regardless of gender. I feel like I am embarking on a new journey, feeling independent and powerful today,” the British national said.

Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow women to perform Hajj without a male guardian was widely welcomed by women around the world.

“I have waited 35 years for this opportunity. I haven't had the means to come to Hajj by myself even though I have been working and raising my children since I was 19 years old,” Ayesha Khan, a British national said.

“I am nervous, excited and feel as if I am stepping outside my world for the first time. This is probably how the astronauts felt. For people who don't know the struggle I can only say this is as big as that first step on the moon. This one small step is a giant leap for women.”

Updated: July 21st 2021, 1:57 PM
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The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role. 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 

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UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
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UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
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PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

Our legal consultant

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Our legal consultant

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Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants