DOHA: Online registration with the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs for the Haj pilgrimage is starting today. Applicants can access the ministry’s website (www.hajj.gov.qa) and register by giving their personal details.
And, in a first, those going for Haj will be issued chip-enabled cards as part of a tracking system. No pilgrim can cross security checkpoints in Saudi Arabia without these cards.
Quoting Ali bin Mubarak Al Fihami, Acting Director of Haj and Umrah at the ministry, Qatar News Agency (QNA) yesterday said the registration process will close on September 8.
“Applicants need not register with Haj operators this year (1431 Hijri). They can instead register with us online,” Al Fihami said.
He said that the list of successful applicants will be issued and only after that will they be able to choose their Haj operator.
In other words, breaking from the earlier practice whereby the ministry allotted Haj operators, the pilgrims will be allowed to pick the operator of their choice.
They will, though, be required to sign written contracts with their operator.
Applicants submitting requests to go for Haj should have been based in Qatar for at least three years and must not have performed Haj in the past five years.
They must hold a valid residency permit of Qatar to be able to apply for a Saudi visa. Applicants must also submit either a no-objection certificate from their sponsor or a leave certificate.
Women accompanying men must submit proof of their relationship, the ministry said.