Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Sheikh Zayed Foundation pays Dh20m for 1,000 to make Haj pilgrimage

The Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation has made Dh20 million available to fund Haj pilgrimages for 1,000 pilgrims.

ABU DHABI// Among the millions on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca this year, 1,000 will have their expenses paid for by a foundation set up by the UAE’s founding father Sheikh Zayed.

The Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation spends Dh20 million each year to make the Haj possible for those with limited financial means.

“It is the will of Sheikh Zayed that the foundation will, every year, send about 1,000 persons for pilgrimage; 600 inside the UAE and 400 from all over the world,” said Ahmed Shabeeb Al Dhaheri, the director general of the foundation.

“This year we have reached out to 43 countries.”

The foundation gives priority to applicants with a low income, the elderly and those who have never had the opportunity to perform Haj – a religious duty that every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to must undertake at least once.

Pilgrims travelling with the foundation will first head to Medina, the second holiest city in Islam after Mecca.

They will then be placed in accommodation close to the Grand Mosque and other notable sites in Mecca.

Mr Al Dhaheri said the foundation funds every aspect of the 15-day trip, including flights and hotel accommodation.

“We pay for everything until they come back,” he said.

The foundation has sent 1,000 Muslims on the Haj every year since 2005. Before that, Sheikh Zayed personally funded the trip for hundreds of Emiratis in need since the UAE was formed in 1971.

“Pilgrimage is considered the fifth pillar of Islam. However, travelling is expensive – especially for somebody whose income is low,” said Mr Al Dhaheri. “That is why the foundation helps the needy go to the pilgrimage.”

Last year about three million pilgrims performed Haj. 

Pilgrims chosen from Abu Dhabi gathered yesterday at the foundation’s headquarters on Airport Road as advisers set out a timetable for the trip next month and stressed the importance of health vaccinations.

Advisory sessions are being held in all emirates.

The World Health Organisation advises countries sending pilgrims to the Haj to increase surveillance for the Mers coronavirus that has killed more than 50 people in Saudi Arabia alone.

There have been 130 laboratory-confirmed cases and 17 suspected cases of the virus. It is not yet deemed a public-health emergency but there are concerns that the virus could spread because of the huge gathering of people from all parts of the world.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Supporters of unseen India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate and Chief Minister of the western Indian state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, wave as he arrives to file his election nomination papers in Varanasi. Sanjay Kanojia / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world April 24

The National View's photo editors pick the best of the day from around the world

 Sarah Geronimo. Courtesy: FLASH Entertainment

Sarah Geronimo brings her star power to Abu Dhabi this weekend

Ahead of her Abu Dhabi concert on Thursday night, we take a look at the Filipina singer Sarah Geronimo’s extraordinary career.

 Visitors look at the medieval inventor Al Jazari’s water-powered Elephant Clock. The clock is on show at the 1001 Inventions exhibition at Sharjah Expo Centre. Photos Antonie Robertson / The National

1001 Inventions: in praise of Islam’s gifts to the world

Down the centuries, from camera obscura to designing a sail that allowed early seafarers to tack into the wind, Muslim scientists have made many significant contributions to science. Rym Ghazal and Asmaa Al Hameli visit an exhibition in Sharjah that celebrates those contributions

 Mumbai Indians fans cheer they team on the opening match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2014 at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Earn cash back with the IPL cricket in the UAE

Dunia finance promotion allows cricket lovers to earn up to 6 per cent unlimited cash back on any spending they make on a day when an IPL match is played in the UAE.

 Iranian workers at the Iran Khodro auto plant in Tehran on March 18. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

Iran’s love of cars survives devastating sanctions

Sanctions and energy subsidy reductions might have hurt the Iranian automotive industry. But car makers at one factory are still optimistic, Yeganeh Salehi reports from Tehran

 This comparison image shown on Reddit annotated the objects with vehicles from the movies.

Disney confirms that Star Wars: Episode 7 is filming in Abu Dhabi desert

Disney yesterday confirmed that the filming of Star Wars: Episode 7 is taking place in the desert in Abu Dhabi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National