Saturday, June 9, 2018
JEDDAH — The online booking of low cost Haj for local pilgrims has been evoking overwhelming response with more than 240,000 aspirant pilgrims enrolling in the first week of starting the registration process.
There has been huge traffic at the web portal (http://localhaj.haj.gov.sa) with more than half a million people having visited the site in the first week, according to Haj operators.
However, many non-Arab expatriates who intended to register were not able to do so as the portal displayed only Arabic conent.
When contacted, officials of the Ministry of Haj and Umrah clarified that an English version very much existed with all required information.
Since there was no indication of the English language availability at the site, it was difficult for the aspirants to reach the concerned page. The officials said after the default opening of the portal in Arabic, the visitor has to click on the globe sign at the top corner of the page above the toll free number to switch the language.
Prospective pilgrims can register in three categories – general, low fare and muyassur. The cost for general category is from SR6,508 to SR11,905, low fare is between SR3,447 and 4,797 and the muyassur category is SR3,465.
There is huge rush for the low cost and muyassur categories, which have 26,458 and 10,000 slots respectively.
So far aspirant pilgrims from the Riyadh region stood top in registration, followed by Jeddah and Dammam. The registration will continue until July 13, the 30th of Shawwal.
The Haj and Umrah Ministry has restricted the individual marketing campaign by private Haj operators inside the Kingdom.
All domestic Haj operators are required to accept pilgrims through the ministry’s web portal only. A total of 233,076 inland pilgrims are expected to perform Haj this year after registering online through the ministry's portal.
In all 193 domestic Haj operators are brought into the ambit of the portal from this year, according to the ministry.