Saudi Arabia, May 02, 2023: A Saudi committee in charge of housing Hajj pilgrims in the holy city of Makkah has said it continues to receive applications for houses to accommodate the faithful until May 20, extending the deadline time and again.
The committee said the related applications will continue to be received until the end of the current Islamic month of Shawwal expected to end on May 20.
The panel has urged landlords interested in renting out their houses for this purpose to check with accredited engineering offices to finalise permits, the Saudi news agency SPA reported.
The applications are forwarded by engineering offices accredited by the Makkah municipality and civil defence, which will examine those buildings to ensure they meet the required safety and health conditions.
The committee has renewed its call on landlords interested in renting out their houses for accommodating pilgrims to comply with all safety requirements and come forward to obtain permits as soon as possible.
In December, the committee said it started receiving applications to obtain permits for buildings that will be approved for accommodating pilgrims in the upcoming Hajj season and has since extended the deadline several times.
Hajj, one of Islam’s five obligatory duties, is due to start in late June this year at holy sites in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has said that the minimum age for performing this year’s Hajj pilgrimage is 12 years as the numbers of pilgrims will return to pre-pandemic levels.
The Saudi Ministry of Hajj has also pointed out that priority for registering to undertake this year’s pilgrimage is given to Muslims who did not do it before.
The kingdom has said there will be no limits on the numbers of pilgrims from around the world for the upcoming Hajj season, reversing earlier restrictions prompted by the COVID-19 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 pre-pandemic times.
Muslims, who can physically and financially afford Hajj, have to perform it at least once in a lifetime.
Courtesy: Gulf News