Islamic Ministry, on Wednesday, revealed that Saudi Arabia granted 1,000 Hajj quotas for the Maldives this year.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic – Maldives had annually received 1,000 Hajj quotas. In light of the pandemic – Saudi Arabia significantly slashed Hajj quotas for all countries. Last year, the Hajj quota for Maldives was just 453.
Islamic Minister Ahmed Zahir Ali, in a tweet on Thursday, said that Maldives has received 1,000 Hajj quotas for this year.
“Efforts are underway to secure additional quotas,” he added,
Maldivian pilgrims last year were managed by Hajj Corporation. Islamic Ministry has yet to publicize the rules to be followed for Hajj this year.
Prior to the pandemic – Saudi Arabian government allowed an average of 2.4 million pilgrims per year to travel to the country to perform Hajj.
In 2020, during peak pandemic, Saudi government only allowed 10,000 people who resided in the country to perform Hajj. In 2021, Saudi government permitted 60,000 pilgrims. Following further easements to pandemic restrictions in 2022 – Saudi government permitted one million pilgrims.
Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan al-Rabiah speaking at the opening of the Hajj Expo in January said that the annual hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia will return to pre-pandemic levels this year.
Al-Rabiah announced that in addition to lifting the limit on Hajj pilgrims, authorities had also reduced the insurance fee for Umrah pilgrims from 235 riyals to 88 riyals, and the insurance fee for Hajj pilgrims 109 riyals to 29 riyals.