The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is due to increase the Hajj quota for first time in years.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is due to increase the Hajj quota for first time in years.

Previously the Hajj visa numbers were low due to years of construction in Makkah. As it comes to an end five years later, Saudi Arabia is now planning to restore quotas in the years to come after King Salman approved a proposal to increase the number of pilgrims, from inside and outside of Saudi Arabia during this year’s Hajj.

A Muslim is required to perform the Pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime, this year it will take place at the end of August and the beginning of September.

Saudi has confirmed that all pilgrims arriving in the Kingdom to perform Umrah from different countries in the world, including those from Qatar are welcome, despite the current situation.

The Ministry of Haj and Umrah confirmed that Qatari’s can arrive in the kingdom using any airlines except Qatar Airways.

Over 18,000 applications were made last year, in Qatar, 1,200 of the capped quota applied of which 900 were reserved for nationals only. The number of pilgrims hit a 10-year low in 2016, at 1.86 million compared to the 2.4 million in 2007. The Ministry echoed its earlier statement that from the last Hajj the numbers of visas issued for Umrah stood at 6.7 million, exceeding the numbers from the previous years and making it a record figure.

Those who are not approved after making their application from Doha, are still able to re-apply through their home countries, using the Saudi embassies there. However, if approved the journey would start from their home country and not Qatar.

Flights from Doha should pass through transit stations and arrivals through King Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz in Madinah.

“Regarding Haj, Qataris and those who are living in Qatar with Haj permits issued by the Ministry of Haj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia or the body concerning Hajj affairs in Qatar, and who are registered in the online Haj track, may arrive by air through other airline companies which are selected by the government of Qatar”, this statement was released along with the addition that these airlines are to approved by the general authority for civil aviation, their arrival and departure must be via the airports King Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz in Madinah. Through these airports only, will stamps be acquired.