Saudi's Ministry of Hajj has approved 62 companies to offer low-cost hajj packages, al-Watan daily reported.
The charges will depend on the level of hajj services provided and were classified according to eight levels, from $1,300 for a A-class hajj to $700 for an H-class package.
The head of the department in charge of local hajj pilgrims, Fayez al-Barakati, said the low-cost hajj program was enacted according to the demands and needs of citizens and residents alike.
He explained the ministry has implemented a certain mechanism to oblige low-cost hajj providers not to charge pilgrims more than their actual costs.
He stressed that the ministry has copies of the procedures governing such providers that will be distributed to pilgrims and that such companies are obliged to contract with catering companies that have been approved by Makkah Municipality.
The ministry has expanded the low-cost hajj program to accommodate 41,000 pilgrims this year, up from only 17,000 last year.
Pilgrims’ housing approved
Meanwhile, the head of the pilgrims housing committee in Makkah said it has approved the issuance of 4,894 housing permits for buildings that can accommodate almost 1.57 million pilgrims.
“The total number of approved rooms is 303,107 and most of the approved buildings are in Aziziyah neighborhood, while 65 buildings were not approved for housing pilgrims,” he said.
He noted 60 percent of the approved buildings are new because the expansion projects in Makkah removed almost 90 percent of old buildings that were previously used for housing pilgrims.
“Twenty-eight teams have begun monitoring housing for pilgrims to make sure that are adhering to ministry’s rules and regulations,” he said.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.
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