MUSCAT – The number of pilgrims who applied to perform Hajj from Oman this year (1444 AH) stood at 13,855 pilgrims, of whom 99 percent completed all travel requirements of travel to the Holy Places, with 1 percent of the pilgrims are undertaking medical examinations.
This was unveiled at a press conference held today by Sultan Said Al Hinai, Director General of Administrative and Financial Affairs at the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, who heads the Omani Hajj Mission this year.
The press conference was aimed at outlining the mechanism set for managing the pilgrimage electronically, besides providing details about the service package at the camps of Mina and Arafat, among other particulars.
Al Hinai told reporters that Oman’s share of pilgrims this year stands at 14,000. Giving a breakup, he said that 13,500 of the pilgrims are Omanis, 250 Arab residents and 250 non-Arab residents. The majority of the pilgrims (43 percent) belong to the age group of 30-45 years, followed by the 46-60 years segment, which constitutes 35.1 percent of the pilgrims, the group aged above 60 years (16.6 percent) and the age group of 18-30 years (5.3 percent), Al Hinai explained.
Speaking about the cost of Hajj this year, Al Hinai said that air travel pilgrims pay an average of RO 2,054 and that was less by 7.5 percent, compared to RO 2,221 last year, said Al Hinai. He added that the cost of travel for Hajj by road dropped by 7.1 percent from RO 1,472 to RO 1,367 last year and that pilgrim contracts with Hajj firms were valued at RO 24,191,480.
In reply to a question, Al Hinai said that Hajj request cancellation cases stood at 2,657. This, he observed, calls for a re-evaluation of mechanism for submitting requests to go to Hajj. He explained that such cancellations from Dhofar governorate topped the list (669 cases), followed by cancellations from Muscat governorate (573 cases).