Preparations for Haj of 2019 begin

August 28, 2018
Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah and advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, chairs a meeting of the Central Haj Committee in Makkah on Tuesday.  — SPA
Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah and advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, chairs a meeting of the Central Haj Committee in Makkah on Tuesday. — SPA

Saudi Gazette report

— The Saudi Arabian authorities have started preparations for next year’s Haj with a decision to hold the Haj workshop to discuss all the aspects of the operation of the annual pilgrimage in the end of the coming month of Muharram. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah, advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and chairman of the Central Haj Committee, approved holding the Haj workshop, in preparations for the next Haj season. Meanwhile, the Haj Housing Committee in Makkah will start receiving from Muharram 1 applications from citizens who want to rent out their residential buildings for the accommodation of the pilgrims for the Haj of 2019.

Prince Khaled made the approval while chairing the meeting of the committee at the emirate office in Makkah on Tuesday. The meeting reviewed the operation of the Haj of 2018 and making arrangements and preparations for the next Haj. At the outset of the meeting, Prince Khaled thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, and Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saud Bin Naif, minister of interior and chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee, for the resounding success of this year’s Haj. He said that as of Tuesday morning, 207,000 out of the total foreign pilgrims of 1,760,486 have left the Kingdom.

According to the emir, the meeting observed several positive factors that contributed to making the Haj operation a great success. “There has been a qualitative leap in the Haj operation with complete coordination of all the concerned departments and agencies, and deployment of huge number of human and material resources, and a sharp decline in the number of those who infiltrated to the holy sites to perform Haj without a permit. These were some of the positive factors in addition to the overall sound health condition of the pilgrims.”

Prince Khaled said that the Haj season was completely free from epidemic or contagious diseases, and there were isolation rooms at the hospitals in Makkah and the holy sites. More than 333,000 pilgrims received treatment at these hospitals during Haj. “The dramatic improvement in the system of crowd control and grouping of pilgrims, smooth flow of traffic, running of Mashair Train on time, and implementation of Makkah Road initiative for immigration pre-clearance facility for over 100,000 Malaysian and Indonesian pilgrims are some of the other positive factors,” he added.

The meeting also discussed the plan for starting preparations for the Haj of 2019. In a related development, the Haj Housing Committee in Makkah urged the citizens who want to get issuance of licenses for accommodating pilgrims in their residential buildings to approach the concerned engineering offices, approved by the Makkah municipality, at the earliest. The engineering offices and the Civil Defense teams will inspect the buildings and issue fitness certificates before the committee issuing licenses for these buildings.

August 28, 2018
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