Hajj visas from March 1; Makkah approves buildings to accommodate 1.2m pilgrims

ISLAMABAD   -   A Sau­di committee in charge of housing Muslim pilgrims during the upcoming an­nual Hajj season in the holy city of Makkah has already licensed a total of 1,860 buildings. The licensed buildings can ac­commodate an estimated 1.2 million pilgrims, ac­cording to the government panel. Deputy Governor of Makkah Prince Saud bin Meshal has recently ex­tended the deadline for re­ceiving applications from landlords of such build­ings for licensing them un­til the end of Shawwal, the 10th month in the Islamic lunar month correspond­ing to May 8. The number of buildings for pilgrims in Makkah, known as the Holy Capital, is expect­ed to eventually exceed 5,000. Nearly 2 million pilgrims from around the world performed Hajj in and around Makkah last 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 any more for countries at the Saudi holy sites in the new pilgrimage season, Saudi Minister of Hajj Tawfiq Al Rabiah has said.

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