Saudi Arabia warns against misuse of visas for Hajj pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia have accused tourism companies from other countries of misleading visit visa holders into participating in the Hajj pilgrimage.

The Security Spokesperson of the Saudi Interior Ministry, Talal Shalhoub, said that those companies issued visas not intended for Hajj, and encouraged them to violate regulations by staying in Mecca two months before the Hajj season, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The spokesperson emphasised that a Hajj permit is not merely a transit card but a crucial tool that facilitates access to pilgrims and identifies their locations to provide necessary care and services.

The spokesperson underscored that individuals without a Hajj permit face challenges in accessing essential services and healthcare during the pilgrimage.

According to Shalhoub, 83 per cent of the total mortalities during the Hajj season this year, amounting to 1,079 out of 1,301, were those without Hajj permits.(Xinhua/NAN

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