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Saudi Arabia: 166 Mecca buildings licensed to house Hajj pilgrims

The licensed buildings comprise a total of 26,710 rooms set to accommodate 1116,697 pilgrims.

The number of buildings for pilgrims in Mecca, known as the Holy Capital, is expected to eventually exceed 5,000 buildings.

The committee has urged owners of buildings, who wish to obtain licences to designate them for pilgrims’ housing, to contact accredited engineering offices that check their compliance with related terms.

Nearly 2 million pilgrims from around the world performed Hajj, an obligatory Islamic duty, this year, marking the return of their numbers to pre-pandemic levels.

Saudi Arabia has recently disclosed rules for the upcoming Hajj season due next June and stressed early preparations.

According to these rules, no specific places would be allotted for countries at the Saudi holy sites in the new pilgrimage season, Saudi Minister of Hajj Tawfiq Al Rabiah has said.

He explained that places for different countries will be designated depending on finalising contracts.

“From now on, each country will start getting ready for the next year’s Hajj to guarantee delivery of high-quality services to Guests of Allah (pilgrims),” Al Rabiah has said.

“The country that concludes early contracts will be given the priority in taking the appropriate places at the holy places,” the official added.

The issuance of Hajj visas will commence on March 1 and end on the 20th of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar corresponding to April 29. The arrival of Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia will begin on the first of Dhul Qaidah, the 11th Islamic month, corresponding to May 9.

The new mechanism is geared towards facilitating preparations for Hajj, an obligatory Islamic duty.

Around 1.8 million pilgrims attended this year’s Hajj in and around Mecca, according to Saudi official figures.

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