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Hajj shopping site give hujjaj the power of information

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By Tougheeda Doovey

With hujjaj having to select operators before the last SAHUC deadline on Thursday, 6 February, the South African Travel Haj Operators Association (Sathoa) held a hajj market day on Sunday that allowed hujjaj to get more information on hajj packages and which operator to choose for this journey. The website, called Hajj and Umrah Info, can assist pilgrims in getting the best packages to suit their needs. It has a variety of accredited operators and has more than 318 packages available.

Abdul Wahaab, spokesperson for Hajj and Umrah Info said that it started in 2017 and has progressed in assisting hujaaj.

“Most people are first-time hujjaj and it can become very stressful. Hujaaj are not sure what packages to choose and what suits them best. We saw the need for this information to be uploaded onto this website and in that way, we are providing a service to the hujjaj,” said Wahaab.

Various economic factors are contributing to the increase in the cost of hajj packages.

According to Wahaab, there is not much in-depth analysis of the fluctuation in package prices over the past few years. The Saudi Kingdom has never had taxes before, although this year they have taxes which increases the flight prices and accommodation costs. The exchange rate has deteriorated which results in price increases.

Wahaab said that they have a package comparison tool which helps you to compare three packages with a detailed side by side comparison. All packages that are on the website are the ones available from operators. Hajj season is where the prices increase. The cheapest package is R34 900 and the highest is R109 000.

Technology has changed things tremendously with the process of getting information out for hujaaj. You can view all packages, browse by operator, browse by length of stay, compare packages and search for packages on Hajj and Umrah Info.

Amongst the operators are Sure Mirage Travel, Al Anwar Hajj and Umrah, Al Jeem Al Anwar Express, and many more operators to choose from. There is only one option for the 7 weeks stay package available and for the 6 weeks stay, there are 103 packages to choose from.

Wahaab said there is a new feature called ‘E-card’, that allows you to create a departure greeting online. Users can fill in their details and it would produce a card within two minutes that can be printed and sent via WhatsApp.

In 2019, tags on bags were popular as it had details of the hujaaj on the luggage to help locate the owner in the event of luggage going missing. Wahaab said Hajj and Umrah Info was committed to always updating their services and coming up with new features that can make the lives of the hujjaj easier.

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