x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Emiratis who have already performed Haj urged not to go this year

The Islamic Affairs Authority has said those who have not made the trip to Saudi Arabia should have priority as the country lowers its pilgrim quota.

ABU DHABI // Emiratis and Muslim expatriates are being urged to not perform Haj and Umrah this year if they already have as expansion work continues at Mecca's holy sites.

The Islamic Affairs Authority has said those who have not made the trip to Saudi Arabia should have priority as the country lowers its pilgrim quota this year due to the expansion work.

Mohammed Obaid Al Mazrouei, the executive manager of the authority and the chairman of the UAE official Haj mission, said: "We respect the decision of Saudi Arabia to lower the pilgrim quota by 20 per cent this year during the continued expansion works at Mecca's holy sites.

"We call on Emiratis and Muslim expatriates who have already performed Haj to give way to those who have never been in the holy sites."

Haj travel operators have said that the cost of Umrah during Ramadan has increased by 20 per cent, compared to past year as the expansion project has meant that many hotels around the holy sites have been demolished. Airline ticket prices have also risen by 40 per cent.

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