Has Hajj Pilgrimage Travelers Been Left Disappointed With Bad Management?


Saudi arabia Saudi arabiaDay before pilgrimage, the Hajj participants are feeling extremely uneasy as they have no rooms to stay-in. On one side, in the UK, Hajj pilgrims couldn’t board their flights to Saudi Arabia due to a strange lottery scheme, many have been left disappointed with double bookings on rooms in Mecca.

The Saudi Arabian portal Motawif apparently has let down those travelling for pilgrimage. In many cases, keys were handed over for rooms which were already occupied. In many cases, people had already paid up for rooms beforehand, but did not get rooms to stay in.

The pilgrim said there appeared to be no “real coordination” between Motawif, who had pre-assigned rooms to pilgrims who paid for their services, and the hotels tasked with handing out guests their keycards. Many travelling from Madina to Mecca were feeling as if they were visiting a ‘mad house’.

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It seems that the Motawif service could not handle the load of passengers and their information. Hajj packages worth tens of thousands of dollars had been “downgraded”, with no offer given of partial refunds to make up the difference. 

In early June, the Saudi government made a surprise decision to sideline traditional travel agencies and instead use Motawif, a government-backed portal run by an Indian company with links to New Delhi, as revealed by MEE, to carry out a lottery system.

Motawif organised a random draw that Muslims from Europe, Australia and the Americas had to go through to attend Hajj this year, set to start on 7 July.

Since then, applicants have told MEE of numerous problems, including being turned away at airports and bookings failing despite full payments going through.

Many pilgrims who had previously been in the “paid but failed” category have since had their bookings approved, but have now complained of not receiving what they’ve paid for. 



Roshan Amiri is an advocate for the truth. He believes that it's important to speak out and fight for what's right, no matter what the cost. Amiri has dedicated his life to fighting for social justice and creating a better future for all.

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