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Enhanced Hajj 2024 Regulations: Visa and Smart Card Mandatory for Pilgrims

Sabtu, 01 Juni 2024 - 04:31 | 18.72k
The Indonesian pilgrims arriving at KAIAA Airport, Jeddah. (Photo: MCH 2024 Kemenag RI)
The Indonesian pilgrims arriving at KAIAA Airport, Jeddah. (Photo: MCH 2024 Kemenag RI)

TIMESINDONESIA, MADINAH – As the Hajj 2024 season approaches, significant regulatory changes have been implemented to ensure the safety and orderliness of the pilgrimage. Nasrullah Jasam, the Chief Hajj Officer of the Indonesian Hajj Organizing Committee (PPIH) in Saudi Arabia, emphasized the essential requirement for pilgrims to possess a valid Hajj visa to perform the sacred rite of wukuf in Arafah.

In addition to the passport, the Hajj visa is now a non-negotiable document for all intending pilgrims.

“Pilgrims must remember that the primary documents required for Hajj are the passport and the Hajj visa, not any other type of visa,” Nasrullah stated during a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday. This reminder comes in light of stricter regulations by the Saudi Arabian authorities, reflecting a broader effort to streamline and secure the pilgrimage process.

Starting this year, a new layer of security and convenience has been introduced with the Smart Card system. This innovation requires that all pilgrims have a Smart Card, which is only issued to those who hold a valid Hajj visa. The card is essential for entering the Arafah area, a key site for the Hajj pilgrimage.

“Pilgrims must have a Smart Card to enter Arafah, and to obtain this card, they must first have a Hajj visa,” Nasrullah explained. This system is designed to ensure that only those authorized and properly documented can participate in the pilgrimage activities in Arafah, Muzdalifah, and Mina.

The activation and distribution of the Smart Card are managed progressively by Maktab officials. This phased approach ensures that each pilgrim receives their card well in advance of entering the mashaer areas.

The distribution process is meticulously organized to avoid any last-minute complications, with rigorous checks to verify the validity of the Smart Cards. These measures aim to uphold the security and orderliness of the Hajj pilgrimage, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access and potential security breaches.

The introduction of the Smart Card system marks a significant step in the digitization and modernization of Hajj operations. It aligns with Saudi Arabia's broader vision of enhancing the Hajj experience through technology and improved logistics. Pilgrims can expect more efficient and secure management of their journey, which has been a central focus of the Saudi authorities this year.

This year's Hajj is also marked by heightened vigilance and stricter enforcement of regulations. Saudi Arabia has announced increased oversight and penalties for violations, which will be effective from June 2. These measures underscore the importance of compliance with the new requirements, ensuring that the pilgrimage proceeds smoothly and safely for all involved.

In summary, the Hajj 2024 season brings significant regulatory changes aimed at enhancing the security and order of the pilgrimage. The mandatory Hajj visa and Smart Card are central to these efforts, reflecting a commitment to a safe and well-organized Hajj experience. (*)

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