By GALAL FAKKAR | ARAB NEWS
JEDDAH: An official of the Egyptian Haj Mission said Wednesday pilgrim ferry service between Egypt and Saudi Arabia would be resumed this year.
“The ferry service was canceled last year because of poor safety arrangements in the vessels,” said Egyptian Haj Mission Deputy Chief Maj. Gen. Salah Hashim, adding that the Egyptian government has implemented measures to make the travel safer. Anticipating a decline in Haj pilgrims this year, pilgrims who had performed Haj in recent years would be exempted from the limit on repeat Haj visits within a certain number of years.
“There will be two types of draws this year. First is the normal draw from all Haj applications,” he said. “The second draw will be for those who could not go for Haj even though they were selected in the past. Such applicants would not be allowed to transfer their right to others.”
The ministry started receiving applications from Saturday and would continue to accept applications for 17 days. The drawings are scheduled to start on July 9.
The ministry has taken steps to ensure sufficient lodging accommodations for pilgrims in Makkah and Madinah well in advance, he said. read more