Saudi Arabia has confirmed that 19,500 Yemeni pilgrims have obtained a Hajj visa and that the first group of Yemeni pilgrims is due to arrive in the kingdom on the 18th of August.
The Yemeni Minister of Endowments and Religious Guidance in Yemen Dr Fuad Abu Baker told Asharq Al-Awsat that Yemeni pilgrims have obtained complete Hajj visas and that only the visas of organisers who must arrive before the pilgrims have yet to be issued. These organisers must arrive in advance in order to organise the affairs of the Yemeni mission in a timely manner.
The Yemeni minister confirmed that Yemeni pilgrims have paid a lower price to perform Hajj and stressed that the legitimate Yemeni authorities do not impose any conditions on those who want to perform the pilgrimage except that they “stay away from sectarianism and the politicisation of the pilgrimage under all circumstances”.
He pointed out that the cost of Hajj this year fell by 29 per cent from 7,000 riyals to 5,000 riyals and this figure is lower than what is was in previous years as a result of the decline in Yemeni currency due to the economic problems in Yemen.
The minister also highlighted his ministry’s keenness that Yemeni Hajj agencies educate Yemeni pilgrims to avoid crowded areas and how to stay safe, as well as educating them intellectually in terms of not using political slogans and refraining from using the Hajj for political or sectarian purposes.