MAKKAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has carried out more than 1,469 inspection tours since the start of Ramadan in Madinah and Makkah.
Hesham Saeed, assistant deputy minister for Hajj and Umrah services, said that the ministry has also observed violations and shortcomings in service providers and companies.
Saeed told Arab News that the ministry is committed to providing the highest standards of services for pilgrims and will not tolerate any negligence. The ministry has taken measures and issued fines amounting to SR50,000 ($13,000) to more than 10 Umrah companies.
Violating companies can be banned from working, and one company has been suspended during Ramadan.
Saeed said that most violations were issued with regard to housing and transportation services; 165 violations were in Makkah and 391 in Madinah, and legal measures have been taken to hold the defaulters accountable.
He said: “Saudi Umrah companies licensed by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah are committed to providing all services for pilgrims, from their arrival until their departure.”
“Umrah companies provide housing, transportation and field services – and sometimes subsistence services – and if pilgrims do not receive the level of services as per the precontract the ministry will intervene and protect the pilgrims’ rights.”
Saeed noted that the ministry’s inspection teams are working around the clock to observe violations and shortcomings.
He stressed that pilgrims and visitors can contact the ministry through its social media platforms and over the phone number 920002814.
The ministry has received more than 72,000 calls, and field teams continue to carry out inspection tours, follow up on complaints and take the appropriate measures to serve pilgrims.