Over 390,000 domestic pilgrims apply for Hajj this year as registration closes

Over 390,000 domestic pilgrims apply for Hajj this year as registration closes
More than 390,000 Saudi Arabia residents have applied to take part in the Hajj pilgrimage this year
2 min read
13 June, 2022
Hajj this year is expected in early July [Getty]

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah closed registration for residents wishing to participate in the annual pilgrimage this year, with more than 390,000 people applying, Saudi media reported on Sunday.

Candidates will be selected via e-lottery with priority given to those who have not yet performed the pilgrimage before, the ministry’s official spokesperson Hesham Saeed told Arab News.

Successful candidates will receive a text message and will then have 48 hours to complete payments before Hajj permits are issued, Saeed explained.

People wishing to perform Hajj - expected in early July this year - apply through the special phone application 'Eatmarna' or via the ministry’s website.

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Last week, Saudi Arabia announced a new online portal for Hajj pilgrims, known as Motawif, for pilgrims from the Americas, Europe, and Australasia.

Saudi authorities say the system will simplify the process for pilgrims and prevent fraud, after a number of complaints about fake tourist operators stealing money from pilgrims.

In June, the kingdom welcomed its first batch of pilgrims since before the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted authorities to sharply restrict numbers for the annual ritual.

Hajj is considered to be one of the five religious pillars in Islam. Every Muslim has a duty to perform it at least once in their lifetime if they are physically and financially able to do so.