Haj pilgrims can apply online from April 10

By Staff Reporter — MUSCAT: April 5 – Pilgrims can register for this year’s Haj via the e-system of the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs from April 10. The announcement came in a tweet by the ministry which also warned that other modes or registration outside of the online system are no longer valid.  As was the case last year, interested pilgrims can register either by entering the civil identification number manually, scanning their ID, submitting their mobile phone number details.

“We are following the same system this year as well, and the ministry is committed to keeping the public updated about developments in the registration process,” and a reliable source at the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs. Registration of Haj operators began on April 2 and will conclude on April 11.  Last year, the ministry made it mandatory for companies and establishments offering transport services to get approval for their activities. Haj companies are now required to compete for a licence to provide Haj services.

Meanwhile,  the Saudi Haj authorities have decided to restore the Sultanate’s pilgrim quota to 14,000 after four years of reductions.  It follows the rollback of a decision adopted by the Saudi authorities in 2013 to reduce the Haj quota by 20 per cent from all countries including the Sultanate. Quotas for Oman consequently slumped to 11,200 for the past four Haj seasons. The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs is handling the increase in pilgrim numbers and will announce its plan for the 1438 Hijri year Haj through various media channels.