Hajj 2024: Saudi Arabia sets compensation rules for domestic pilgrims over accommodation contract violations

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Cairo: Saudi Arabia has said that domestic pilgrims, who will perform this year’s annual Hajj pilgrimage, will be entitled to compensation in case of experiencing accommodation violations committed by respective service providers.

The kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said if the pilgrim faces housing delay in the holy city of Mecca or other sacred sites, he/she will be compensated if the delay exceeds two hours by getting 10 per cent of the value of the reserved accommodation package.

The penalty against the company involved could be toughened on repetition to reach 15 per cent of the value of the package. In case of the contracted company’s failure to provide housing, the service would be provided under the ministry’s service with the cost to be borne by the firm in question.

If the accommodation service is offered within two hours of arrival at the residence, but in a way not complying with the contract, the pilgrim would get 5 per cent of the value of the package.

The compensation scheme also covers delays in providing tents for pilgrims at the holy places around Mecca as part of Hajj rites.

Violating contract

The pilgrim filing a related complaint about waiting for more than two hours before getting accommodated in the tent would be awarded 2 per cent of the value of the package with the compensation not to be less than SR300.

However, in case of failure to provide accommodation there, then the service would be rendered under the ministry’s supervision with the cost to be borne by the company in question.

If the service is provided in a way violating the contract, the pilgrim filing a verified complaint would get 10 per cent of the value of the package with the compensation not to be less than SR1,500.

Last week, Saudi Arabia opened e-registration for its citizens and foreign Muslims residing in the kingdom for performing upcoming Hajj.

The ministry launched four Hajj packages with their prices ranging from SR4,099 to SR13,265 depending on accommodation level.

The ministry said prices of these packages can be paid in three instalments. In the first, 20 per cent of the overall cost is to be paid until the first of the Islamic lunar month of Ramadan corresponding to March 11; the second instalment stands at 40% with the deadline being the 20th of Ramadan expected on March 31; and the third has to be paid by the 20th of the following Islamic month of Shawwal corresponding to April 29.

Some 1.8 million pilgrims from across the globe last year performed Hajj in and around Mecca, marking the return of their numbers to pre-pandemic levels.

Hajj is an obligatory Islamic duty that must be carried out at least once in a lifetime by Muslims who can afford it physically and financially.

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