The Moroccan Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs has announced measures to increase support and coordination for pilgrims during the Hajj pilgrimage.
Rabat – The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has published new guidelines to ensure the smooth roll-out of the Hajj pilgrimage in August this year.
Under the new guidelines, an increased number of support staff will be made available to pilgrims, from the moment they leave Morocco to when they return home. One member of support staff will be available for every 50 pilgrims, to assist with logistics.
Each year, during the last month of the Islamic calendar millions of Muslims make their way to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the five-day Hajj pilgrimage. In 2018, more than 2 million pilgrims undertook the pilgrimage, including approximately 32 000 Moroccans.
Due to the high numbers of Muslims wishing to go on pilgrimage, Saudi Arabia allocates pilgrim quotas to each country. Pilgrims are selected by ballot and sign up to packaged deals which include flights, accommodation in Mecca, and logistical support during the pilgrimage.
Last year, a number of videos of Moroccans in Mecca complaining about the conditions of the Hajj pilgrimage went viral. The pilgrims complained of insufficient food, delayed transport, inadequate support, and overall poor management of the event.
To limit the recurrence of these issues in 2019, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs has set out a list of requirements to be met by support staff.
The support member must set up a contact list of all pilgrims in their group and ensure regular communication with them. Once in Mecca, they must also coordinate with the Mutawif, the person responsible for accompanying the pilgrim over the five days of pilgrimage, to ensure the smooth roll-out of the pilgrimage.
The Moroccan Ministry of Islamic Affairs set the total price of a Mecca pilgrimage package this year at MAD 49,906 (approximately $5230). Moroccan company Royal Air Maroc and Saudi Arabian company Saudia are the designated air carriers.