Ministry tightens conditions for pilgrim accommodations

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Saudi Gazette report

MAKKAH — The Ministry of Haj and Umrah has started comprehensive inspections of all buildings that accommodate pilgrims in the holy city of Makkah to make sure they are prepared to receive the guests of Allah.

Emad Rukun, director of the ministry›s department for services and accommodation, told Makkah daily that every housing unit applying to obtain a license to accommodate pilgrims will be thoroughly inspected before it is granted the permit.

«The ministry›s accommodation committee starts very early checking of all houses to make sure that they are ready to accommodate pilgrims and provide them with all the services they may require,» he said.

Rukun said earlier the committee would only be concerned with the safety measures and the constructional aspect of the building but now it inspects even paper towels, garbage bins, bed covers and other amenities before the building is declared fit for accommodating pilgrims.

He said the previous conditions for granting the license did not include cleanliness or the condition of furniture, bedding and other facilities.

«Now the conditions for granting the license include all aspects that will make the stay of pilgrims extremely comfortable,» he said.

Rukun said in the past many of the buildings were not fully suitable yet they were granted licenses to accommodate pilgrims because there was a shortage.

«This is a thing of the past now. The building has to be safe, comfortable and must have all the required services to be granted a license to house the pilgrims,» he said.

He said if the committee was convinced that the building was quite ready, it would be granted license and if not the owner would be asked to cover all the loopholes before it was okayed to accommodate the guests of Allah.