Saudi Arabia bars visit visa holders from entering Makkah during Hajj season

Foreign vistors do not have permission to perform Hajj, says Saudi interior ministry

APP May 23, 2024
A view of the Holy Kaaba during the Hajj pilgrimage. PHOTO: FILE


The Saudi Ministry of Interior has imposed restrictions on entry to Makkah for all individuals holding visit visas during the forthcoming Hajj season, from May 23 to June 21, 2024.

The ministry, in a statement issued on Thursday, said that visit visa holders do not have permission to perform Hajj, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The ministry has advised visit visa holders without permission for Hajj to avoid travelling to Makkah during this time to avoid penalties according to Saudi regulations.

Security and organisational measures are being implemented to ensure the safety of authorised pilgrims during the Hajj rituals, it added.

Read more: Hajj organizers face accommodation crisis

Earlier, Saudi's Fatwa Council had also banned performing Hajj without a permit, in order to ensure safety and security of pilgrims. Saudi residents are also required to show permits to enter Makkah since May 4.

Earlier, pilgrims were also given a 'mandatory' advisory to always carry their identification cards throughout the 'Hajj period'.

Authorities in the country have already begun implementing security and organisational plans ahead of Hajj, which aims to preserve the safety of guests so that they can perform their rituals in a secure manner.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Pakistan had unveiled plans to facilitate the departure of pilgrims from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia with flight operations set to span from May 9 to June 9.

Also read: Hajj flight operations set for May 9 to June 9

On the first day, a total of 2,160 pilgrims are poised to commence their spiritual journey, availing themselves of 11 designated flights.

From May 24 to June 9, the flights will shift to Jeddah Airport, facilitating onward journeys to the sacred sites.

The commencement day will witness 680 pilgrims departing from Islamabad across three flights, alongside 330 pilgrims from Karachi, distributed among two flights.

An additional 670 pilgrims will kick-start their pilgrimage from Lahore through three scheduled flights.

Similarly, flights from Multan and Sialkot will also take flight on the inaugural day, ensuring a comprehensive departure schedule.


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