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Uganda’s Hajj Bureau releases 2024 pilgrimage plan

Uganda Airlines flew pilgrims to Saudi Arabia

Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Bureau of Hajj has released a comprehensive plan designed to assist Muslims who are eager to embark on the sacred Pilgrimage in the upcoming year, 2024.

The plan has been unveiled in response to the stringent new guidelines mandated by the Saudi Arabian Government for pilgrims intending to participate in the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage to the revered cities of Madina and Mecca.

According to Sheikh Twaib Bogere, the Secretary General, immediate registration of pilgrims has commenced in collaboration with various companies.

“We are committed to strict adherence to timelines. These new regulations stem from recent adjustments within the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj,” he added.

Nonetheless, he emphasized that Muslims should be aware that this practice is not novel, as in numerous countries, individuals intending to embark on pilgrimage often register even two to three years in advance, allowing for more effective preparation.

The recent modifications were introduced in response to a disorderly process during which several prospective pilgrims were unable to secure Saudi Arabia visas for this year’s Hajj due to issues with the upgraded e-system, which was implemented only a few weeks prior to the pilgrimage.

Consequently, Saudi authorities have established novel measures, including the earlier issuance of visas. As per a document from the Hajj Bureau, by November 4th of this year, comprehensive Hajj packages will be unveiled, outlining the fees corresponding to pilgrim classifications.

“Issuance of visa will begin on 1st march 2024. Issuance of visa will stop on 29th April 2024. (and) the first group of pilgrims from the whole world shall arrive in mecca on 9th may, 2024 (this is a month before the hajj),” the document reads in part.

For Ugandan pilgrims, it is anticipated that all individuals planning to undertake the pilgrimage should have settled a minimum of seventy-five percent of the stipulated fees, amounting to USD 4,146, which is roughly equivalent to 14.9 million shillings.

“Deadline for clearing all dues and receiving passports for intending pilgrims is 10 April. The first group of pilgrims from Uganda will depart on 4 June 2024 and the last group of pilgrims from mecca shall return on 28 June 2024,”

He remarked, further noting that Ugandans have often contributed to disorder by waiting until the final moments to make payments, a practice that, in his view, will not be viable on this occasion.

In the recently concluded pilgrimage, approximately 1,460 Ugandan pilgrims participated, marking an increase from the previous year’s count of 1,200 individuals.




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