x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

UAE Islamic authority to ensure Haj agencies meet standards

Thirty inspectors from the UAE's Islamic authority are in Mecca this week to ensure that services provided by the country's Haj agencies meet standards.

MECCA // Thirty inspectors from the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments will be checking services provided by UAE Haj agencies are up to standard.

Mohammed Al Mazrouei, executive manager of the authority and head of the UAE Haj mission, said the inspectors would next week begin checking all details regarding the safety and comfort of pilgrims.

Rashid Al Mazrouei, the head of the inspection committee, added: "We will be inspecting accommodation and whether it matches the description agreed upon by the pilgrim, and we will checking the contracts of the pilgrims in regards to transportation and food."

Five teams comprising food inspectors, doctors, preachers and Takatof volunteers will survey the 147 UAE Haj agencies to make sure they are meeting the terms agreed with both Awqaf and Saudi officials.

"The doctor will confirm the health of the pilgrims, and the preacher will make sure that the preaching programme is comprehensive," explained Rashid Al Mazrouei.

There are 6,228 pilgrims making the Haj from the UAE this year. Four batches of pilgrims arrived in Medina last Sunday, while inspection teams heading to Mecca will arrive later in the week.

Pilgrims will be asked to fill a survey about their experiences and will also be interviewed in person by the inspectors.

Rashid Al Mazrouei said most violations last year were regarding transportation.

"Sometimes there is nothing the agency can do about it because the delay is out of their hand, but the pilgrim always expects everything to run smoothly," he said.