Hajj Board maintains GH¢75,000 paid last year; reduces dollar charge from $6,500 to $6,250

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The Chairman also revealed that this year’s Hajj is expected to come with improved service

The Ghana Hajj Board has announced that prospective Ghanaian pilgrims to Mecca this year will pay the same amount as last year, which is GH¢75,000, or the US Dollar equivalent of $6,250.

Announcing the fee at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Hajj Board, Hon. Ben Abdallah Banda, said despite the increased cost of Hajj services in Saudi Arabia this year, the Ghana Hajj Board, after careful consideration, has decided not to increase the fees, also partly due to the relative stability of the Cedi against the US Dollars.

“Yesterday we engaged with one of our important stakeholders, the Hajj Agents Association and briefed members about this year’s Hajj,” the Chairman said.

“We hereby officially announce that considering various factors, the cost of this year’s Hajj, regardless of the rising cost of services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the price remains GH¢75,000 as it was last year. However, its dollar equivalent has been reduced to $6,250,” he added.

Last year, the fee in US Dollars, was $6500, which means pilgrims this year, have a reprieve of $250.

Ben Abdallah Banda noted that the cost of a number of services have gone up. He, however, added that the board has done stringent negotiations which have ensured that these increased costs “will not be borne by the pilgrims.”

Breaking down what constitutes the price package, the Chairman said it includes: visa acquisition, return flight from Ghana to Saudi Arabia, internal transportation, including from Madina to Makkah, Makkah to Mashaa’ir

(Mina and Arafat), Mashaa’ir to Makkah and to Jeddah airport.

The rest are accommodation and feeding at Madina, Makkah and Mashaair for one month; 40 kg luggage without charge, bags, processing of ID Cards, Zamzam water, medical care, security services and Hajj guide from the Daawah team to aid in the seamless performance of Hajj rites.

The Chairman also revealed that this year’s Hajj is expected to come with improved service as facilities at Mina, and other places of convergence have been improved.

PAYMENT DEADLINE

The Board stressed that considering the number of activities involved in the Hajj processes such as “presentation of passports to the board, issuance of visas and the preparation of flight schedules to and fro,” the deadline for the payment of the Hajj fare is mid-March 2024.

“Intending pilgrims are hereby encouraged to start payment from today, through their accredited agents who are scattered across the country or directly into the Hajj Board’s account,” the Chairman said.

“We should be mindful about the timelines because visa issuance which commences on the 20th of April 2024 would end on the 20th of May 2024,” he added.

Meanwhile, the airlifting of Ghanaian Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia is scheduled to commence from Tamale, tentatively, on 30th May 2024, and in Accra on 8th June 2024, while the return flights, also tentatively, will commence on 28th June 2024.

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