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Umrah companies warned against inferior services

Pilgrims pray at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. (Reuters)

Pilgrims pray at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. (Reuters)

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Haj has asked all companies and establishments providing Umrah services to extend excellent services to the guests of God and follow up their affairs round the clock.

In a circular, it asked all Umrah service-providing companies to collect correct data on pilgrims, including their flight number and means of transport to Makkah or Madinah.

On arrival, it said, each pilgrim should be provided with a bracelet containing the name of the company he or she travels with as well as the company’s addresses in the two holy cities.

The ministry said it would take care of the pilgrims who came through air or sea inlets without previous information. It will provide them with temporary accommodation or hand them over to other companies. The establishments to which they originally belonged will be held responsible for their undeclared arrival.

The ministry said procedures concerning the departure of pilgrims to their respective homes should be finalized 24 hours in advance to avoid any negative incidents such as missing the flight, losing the tickets or subjecting the pilgrim to fatigue.

The ministry said the grouping of pilgrims departing from King Abdulaziz International Airport should be done six hours before the flight time, while it should be three hours at least for those leaving Madinah through Prince Muhammad International Airport.

It asked Umrah service-providing companies to stick signboards to the buses to state clearly the departure lounges and their numbers. It also said the luggage of the pilgrims should be taken good care of.

The ministry said pilgrims departing through Yanbu Commercial Seaport should not leave their accommodation before their ships actually docked, because there are no waiting areas for them at the seaport.

It asked the Umrah companies to follow up the vehicles carrying pilgrims that arrived by land from the time of arrival until departure and make sure that the cars were safe to avoid any accidents.

The ministry asked the companies to make sure that pilgrims were accommodated in good and clean places and provide enough manpower to serve and assist them in carrying luggage. Pilgrims should be immediately accommodated on their arrival in Makkah or Madinah and should not be left stranded outside the hotels or squandering along the streets.

The ministry said pilgrims should not be kept inside cars for more than half an hour or made to wait for groups coming on other flights. In such cases, the ministry would provide transport for the pilgrims and make them pay the costs incurred.

The ministry asked the Umrah companies to provide each pilgrim with a card with his or her name, passport number, general health condition and the medicines he or she is taking to make it easy for the hospitals to serve them in case of any emergency.

It asked the companies to warn pilgrims against overstaying and to inform the ministry about any pilgrims that did not travel on time.

Source: Arab News


Published: Jul  26, 2011 22:07                Updated: Jul  26, 2011 23:10