Minister of Pilgrimage Dr. Mahmoud Bin Muhammad Safar today reaffirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, honored to serve the pilgrims, with no thought of material reward, and in line with the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz, exerts every effort to facilitate the performance of their sacred duty in convenience, safety and tranquillity; and referred them to the 86-page booklet entitled ‘Pilgrimage Organizing Instructions’, which is published in Arabic, English, and French by the Ministry of Pilgrimage. (*)
This publication includes instructions concerning the duties of the pilgrims, the charges they will incur for incis such as transportation, the schedule for arrival and departure, the services offered by the national pilgrim establishments, and the regulations governing lodging.
Of particular concern are the various deadlines. Pilgrims are asked to note that the last date for acceptance of applications for pilgrimage visas is Dhu Al-Qadah 25 (April 3, 1997). The final date for crossing the border for pilgrims traveling overland, for arrival by sea at any port other than Jeddah Islamic Port, and for arrival by air at Madinah, is the end of the month of Dhu Al-Qadah (April 7, 1997). The deadline for arrival by sea at the Islamic Port in Jeddah, and by air at the Jeddah International Airport is Dhu Al-Hajjah 4 (April 11, 1997).
All visas issued to pilgrims traveling by air expire at the end of Dhu Al-Hajjah (May 6, 1997), and all such pilgrims must leave the Kingdom no later than Muharram 10 (May 16, 1997). For those traveling by sea, the expiration date of the visas is the end of Muharram (June 5, 1997). For those traveling overland, crossing the border must be on or before Muharram 5 (May 11, 1997).
It is important that the return date be determined for each pilgrim prior to the start of his or her journey. The departure deadlines must not be exceeded in any circumstance, since it is prohibited to stay on in the Kingdom after the period of validity of visas issued for the pilgrimage.
The booklet also contains telephone numbers that may be of assistance to pilgrims, including the following:
Makkah Province offices Makkah 5749582
Makkah Province offices Jeddah 6530000
Madinah Province offices Madinah 8260433
Office of the Minister of Pilgrimage Jeddah 6655043
Directorate-General of Pilgrimage Jeddah 6470055
Directorate-General of Pilgrimage Makkah 5434618
Directorate-General of Pilgrimage Madinah 8263131
Complaints Committee Makkah 5423022
Complaints Committee Arafat 5562226
Complaints Committee Mina 5566305
Complaints Office, Jeddah Airport Jeddah 6858212
(*) This booklet is available free of charge, in English and in Arabic, from the Islamic Affairs Department of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. The English version is also on the Internet, on the IAD web site, which is also accessible through the Information Office Home Page in the chapter on Islam in the Profile of Saudi Arabia.