Hajj 2023: Saudi Arabia gears up for busy pilgrimage season

Permits to be issued from Friday

Hajj will return to pre-pandemic numbers as Saudi Arabia has removed all Covid-19 restrictions, although pilgrims must be vaccinated. Photo: Saleh Al Shaibany
Powered by automated translation

Saudi authorities are gearing up for a busy Hajj season, which is set to start on June 25.

This year, authorities have stressed that pilgrims who wish to perform Hajj must be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said the vaccination deadline was 10 days before the Hajj season begins, and that pilgrims must have all three doses of a Covid-19 vaccine for them to obtain the Hajj permit.

Vaccinations against seasonal flu and meningococcal meningitis are also listed by the ministry. Other vaccines required for those coming from outside Saudi Arabia include yellow fever and polio.

Hajj permits will be issued from Friday.

The ministry opened registration for Hajj 2023 in January for pilgrims living in the kingdom, with the price of packages beginning at 3,984 riyals ($1,062).

The final instalment, which needed to be paid last month, is 40 per cent of the total amount pilgrims must pay for their chosen package.

The ministry opened registrations for international pilgrims in February, to give those who had performed Hajj more than five years ago another chance to apply for a permit.

Priority has been given to those who have never performed Hajj before. People in this category can apply until June 25, through the Nusuk app and the official website.

This year, the Nusuk programme for Hajj pilgrims was expanded to include more countries around the world.

Nusuk is a unified government portal that helps pilgrims to apply and pay online for electronic visas, accommodation, transport and book flights.

This year, Hajj will return to pre-pandemic numbers as the country will remove all Covid-19 restrictions. In 2019, before the pandemic, about 2.6 million people performed Hajj.

Updated: May 05, 2023, 7:20 AM