MUSCAT: As many as 11,200 pilgrims from Oman will take part in Hajj in Saudi Arabia this year. Last year too, the same number of pilgrims from the sultanate performed Hajj. Sheikh Aflah bin Ahmed al Khalili will head the Omani Hajj Mission that leaves on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Khalili said, “Hajj operators need to register pilgrims’ data on the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs’ (MARA) portal, which is linked to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj website. They need to provide information about the pilgrims’ stay in Mecca and Medina to ensure that they are provided their daily food quota as mandated by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj.”

He said that the ministry has distributed Hajj permit cards to those organisers who have completed the registration process and added that it was the duty of organisers to ensure that they abide by the guidelines set by Saudi Arabia and MARA to ensure a successful pilgrimage.

“Hajj operators should ensure that only those pilgrims who have received permits to go for the pilgrimage are travelling with them. Pilgrims should also undergo medical tests and take precautionary vaccines at health centres.” Khalili said that pilgrims must carry the microchipped permit cards to ensure that they are provided medical help during emergencies.

He said that the buses transporting pilgrims should have been manufactured in or after 2005. “The buses should be equipped with all safety features.” The Hajj mission comprises Al Iftaa, a religious guidance delegation, administrative and finance personnel besides supervisory, medical and ROP teams.

The conference was attended by Sheikh Sultan bin Said al Hinai, deputy head of the mission, and officials from the ministry.