Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has issued a set of rules and regulations to protect the rights of pilgrims.
According to a document uploaded on the KSA Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s website, the new rules protect the rights of pilgrims through follow-up and supervising committees and communication centers established to receive complaints and observations.
The ministry said that it ensures the rights of foreign pilgrims by monitoring contractual commitments and services such as accommodation, food and transportation.
It said that it refers pilgrims’ complaints to a special committee which decides punishment against violators.
A Haj services company which provides substandard services will either be fined, suspended from work for a season or more and/or have its license revoked, the ministry said.
Umrah pilgrims are entitled to safety and comfort while carrying out their rituals, transportation, luggage delivery and shipping, confirmation of flight bookings, alternative air tickets in case original ones are lost.
The rights of Haj pilgrims include safety and comfort, full implementation of contractual obligation by service-providing companies, financial guarantees against companies to ensure that they honor their contracts, representation in courts in case companies object to financial compensation.
The rights of domestic pilgrims:
The ministry shall take the necessary financial guarantees from licensed companies to ensure the fulfillment of contracts.
The ministry will monitor the services and facilities provided by companies.
The ministry will receive pilgrims’ complaints and observations. Then it will present them to the concerned committee for investigating and issuing appropriate decision.
The ministry will implement the decisions of the committee that include applying penalties on violating companies by imposing fines, stopping them from the service for one season or more, or cancelling their licenses.
The ministry will represent pilgrims before the authorized legal courts if a company objects to the compensation determined for pilgrims.
The ministry will give pilgrims the compensation amount that is determined for them through approved official channels.
The rights of foreign pilgrims:
The ministry will ensure safety and pilgrims’ rights in conformity with contracts signed between pilgrims’ representatives and service providers.
The ministry will ensure that pilgrims get proper accommodation, transportation, food and logistics at the holy sites.
The ministry will receive pilgrims’ complaints and remarks concerning companies, then present them to the concerned committee for investigation in order to issue appropriate decision.
The ministry evaluates reports on the performance of licensed parties.
It will also impose penalties on violating companies by imposing fines, stopping them from service for one season or more, or cancelling their licenses.
Umrah pilgrims’ rights:
Ensuring safety and comfort.
Providing the necessary advice and guidance.
Receiving and seeing-off pilgrims.
Delivery and shipping of pilgrims’ luggage.
Ensuring that their contractual rights are fulfilled.
Monitoring their comfort throughout their stay.
Confirming flight bookings.
Providing an alternative air ticket in case original ones are lost, and charging the new ticket on the foreign agent.