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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Report: Last-minute increase in Hajj quota leaves Qatar residents unprepared

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A handful of days before pilgrims are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia, the country has unexpectedly raised the Hajj quota for those in Qatar, the Peninsula reports.

Some 13,000 Qatar residents applied for Hajj visas this year, but Qatar was initially only allowed to send 1,500 people, according to the pilgrim quota set by Saudi Arabia.

Last month, KSA has doused hopes that it would raise quotas when it rejected requests from 40 countries, explaining that big development projects made it difficult to accomodate more pilgrims.

But a sudden increase over the weekend to 5,000 visas for people from Qatar (from 500 to 1,000 for expats) has caught many off-guard and unprepared to make the journey, the Peninsula said:

An aspiring expatriate family who were planning to travel to Saudi Arabia by road said they decided not to go because of the shortage of time to prepare.

“We got a message from the Haj Committee on Saturday saying we have been selected for the pilgrimage. There is hardly two days left for the preparations. So we have decided not to go,” a member of the family told this daily yesterday.

The initially low quota also affected local Hajj operators, with 13 out of 16 of them canceling trips because they did not have enough pilgrims.

Did you get a last-minute visa to go to Hajj?

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala

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