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Corruption and Malpractice amongst Hajj/Umrah Service Providers – A Grave Concern

Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK ABH, a National organisation working for the welfare and wellbeing of Hajj/Umrah pilgrims, welcomes the statements issued by Saudi Arabia’s deputy chairman of the National Hajj and Umrah Committee, Makkah, Abdullah Bin Omar Qadi that “The Hajj and Umrah companies have no excuse but to provide the best of services to the Hajj/Umrah pilgrims”.

He also announced the 150 Haj and Umrah service providing companies had their licenses revoked due to providing substandard services to the pilgrims.

It was a long awaited statement issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Hajj/Umrah pilgrims from around the world are angry and frustrated of the growing culture of exploitation and corruption which has plagued the Hajj/Umrah service providers to the extent that it is becoming a way of life. Values and norms have changed. The rogue and unscrupulous service providers have no hesitation to prey on vulnerable pilgrims including sick, elderly and disabled. They take undue advantage of these pilgrims by charging extortionate prices for their substandard services. It is a total rip-off compared to similar travel packages to other destinations around the world, taking into consideration that many pilgrims are likely to have spent their life-savings to fulfil their religious obligations.

ABH strongly urges the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and relevant authorities around the world to take this issue seriously and continue to help and protect vulnerable and innocent Hajj/Umrah pilgrims by taking stern action against unscrupulous and rogue service providers. They are causing the vulnerable pilgrims immense hardship, mental anguish, trauma and difficulty and should not get away only with the cancellation of their licenses but these culprits should be punished severely and sent behind the bars.

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