Hajj registrations: 390,000 hopeful pilgrims inside Saudi Arabia await result

The kingdom says it will accept up to a million pilgrims from abroad this year

Worshippers gather before the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. More than 390,000 domestic pilgrims from Saudi Arabia have applied for permission to perform Hajj this year. AFP
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Saudi Arabia has closed its registrations for domestic pilgrims who wish to perform Hajj.

The more than 390,000 applicants will now wait on the results of a lottery to learn if they have been selected.

Hajj authorities opened registrations for domestic pilgrims this month as the kingdom lifted restrictions on participation that were imposed in the past two years in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said it will select the domestic pilgrims on Sunday using an online lottery. Priority will be given to candidates who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and have not performed Hajj.

Saudi Arabia said it will permit up to a million pilgrims from abroad this year and has expanded capacity after two years of limiting the Hajj to domestic pilgrims.

“There will be no priority given to those who applied early on or later during the registration period,” said Hisham Al Said, a spokesman for the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

“Those who have been successful will be notified by SMS messages on Sunday and will have 48 hours to finalise their payments for the packages they have signed up for.”

After the onset of the pandemic in 2020, Saudi authorities announced they would let 1,000 pilgrims take part. The following year, they increased the total to 60,000 fully vaccinated Saudi citizens and residents chosen by a lottery.

This year's pilgrimage will be limited to vaccinated Muslims under the age of 65, the ministry said.

Those coming from outside Saudi Arabia, who must apply for Hajj visas, are required to submit a negative PCR result from a test taken within 72 hours of travel.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced it would offer three packages for the Hajj season this year.

The Al Abraj package will cost about 14,738 Saudi riyals for a pilgrim, the Developed Camps package will cost 13,044 Saudi riyals, while the Normal Camps package will cost 10,239 Saudi riyals.

The Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, must be undertaken by all Muslims who have the means at least once in their lives.

Usually one of the world's largest religious gatherings, about 2.5 million people participated in 2019.

Updated: June 12, 2022, 12:43 PM