Qatar: Haj operators must provide adequate services

September 20, 2011

Qatar’s religious authorities have asked all Haj (pilgrimage) operators not to use buses that are in poor condition to transport would-be pilgrims from Qatar to Saudi Arabia.

Under a new ruling by the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, the muqawils (Haj operators) have to produce a certificate from an authorised technical inspection company showing that the buses to be used to transport the would-be pilgrims are in good condition, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Tuesday.

The decision to ensure adequate transport means was made after several people complained last year about some tour operators using old buses to transport them inside the holy premises around Makkah.

However, a senior official of the Haj and Umrah Department at the ministry said that they were not expecting any serious problems in this regard after most muqawils hired buses from reputable companies.

The operators were also asked to provide more tents in Mina, in the outskirts of Makkah where Muslims camp for three days, to accommodate more people from Qatar. Last year, many pilgrims were forced to sleep in the streets due to a shortage of tents, the daily said.

According to the official, the muqawils have also been asked to ensure that all the accommodations and facilities, especially the elevators, are safe.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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