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Tomorrow is the final day to submit passports for placing of Haj visa by the Saudi Consulate in London.
With that, we see the end of this year's pilgrimage season. Another year has passed us by.
In my personal experience of this Umra and Haj work, this year's Haj has been profoundly difficult.
The re-development plan for Makkah has been pivotal, in the main, for difficulties which led to inflated price charged by the owners of existing accommodations be that buildings or hotels of all grades.
This is likely to be the case for the next 5 years or more until they develop the Jabal Umar site located on Ibrahim Khalil Street behind Dar Tawheed intercontinental hotel.
Then, the world recession has led to the fall of the value of the Pound Sterling which stung everyone throughout the world excepting those countries whose monetary system is tied to the US $.
Those handful of Haj Agents who successfully sold out their package, have incurred loss and their loss is substantial. Those who failed to sell theirs have suffered the most and some of them are likely to fail and terminate their business altogether.
There has been a quantum fall in the number of pilgrims going for haj from UK this year. Licensed agents has failed to acquire around 7,000 barcodes this year. Add that to the fall in the sale by those who did make arrangements and you get the grim picture.
I believe that there will be only 12 to 15 thousand Hujjajs this year in total as compared to last year where around 24 thousand performed their hajj.
Umra season for the year 1430 AH should begin in mid March 2009, InshaAllah, if all is well and equal with the ministry of haj.
Last edited by Ismail Simjee; 20-11-08 at 04:11 PM.
Anyone getting through to the consulate is very fortunate as they have crossed half the barrier. The remaining half is how succesful you are in extracting an answer, er, a correct answer that is.
If your visit visa or business visa is for any city other than Jedda, Makkah or Madina, you should get that with not much problem.
However, if it is for Jedda and Makka in particular and Madina in general than you will not get it until the haj is over mainly because you are a muslim and the saudis believe that you are going for hajj under different pretext.
May Allah Help them and us all especially those who have a genuine reason to visit Jedda, Makkah or Madina.
I have paperwork for both a visit visa and a residential one; and I will be living in Madinah! My travel destination will be Jeddah and onto Madinah from there. I can't travel till after Hajj as my husband will be performing hajj and I will not have a Mahram till he completes his hajj.
I only wanted to get the visa now and travel straight after he completes his hajj. But from what your saying it seems very unlikely that I will get the application processed now.