Abu Dhabi // A local foundation has made Dh20 million available to fund Haj pilgrimages for 1,000 people, according to WAM, the state news agency. The Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation will pay for 600 Emiratis and 400 pilgrims from other countries to make the journey. Pilgrims can apply between September 19 and October 12 for Haj, which will occur in mid-November.
Since 2002, WAM said, the foundation has donated Dh70m to Haj pilgrims. Salim Obaid al Dhaheri, the director general of the foundation, said it is already receiving applications via the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UAE embassies overseas, but that participants eligible for funding have yet to be selected. Those that go with the group will be placed in accomodation close to the Grand Mosque and to other sites of interest in Mecca. In 2008, tour organisers said a Haj pilgrimage cost about Dh40,000 for a person travelling from the UAE.
It was formed by Sheikh Zayed, founder of the nation, in 1992 to channel his humanitarian initiatives within the country and abroad. It has also funded ambulances, medical equipment, scholarships and mosque construction. @Email:email@example.com