Residents who wish to perform Hajj this year from Qatar can apply for visas online starting tomorrow, government officials have announced.
The pilgrimage, which a Muslim is required to perform at least once in his or her lifetime, will take place at the end of August and beginning of September.
The registration process launches online here at 8:30am tomorrow.
It runs until 11:59pm on March 30, the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) said this week.
Each year, people are chosen through an electronic drawing and informed via text message.
Last year, some 18,400 people in Qatar applied for 1,200 spots. Of those, 900 were reserved for nationals.
However, that might change. Saudi Arabia is expected to increase quotas for visitors starting this year, because construction work is winding down.
According to QNA, Qataris who wish to go to Hajj should be at least 18 years old, or 16 if accompanied by an adult.
Expats must be 18 years or older. They should have lived in Qatar for at least three years and not performed Hajj in the past five years.
Females who are not traveling with close male relatives must be at least 45 years old, as per rules set by Saudi Hajj officials.
Qatar residents who aren’t approved to go to Hajj from Doha can still apply through their home countries, through the Saudi embassies there.
In this case, applicants would also have to travel to Saudi Arabia from their home country (not Qatar) and be part of a local Hajj company from that nation.
Anyone with Hajj-related questions in Qatar can call a special hotline at 132 during “business hours,” QNA reports.