All improvements to Hajj organization quality are to ensure Indonesian Hajj pilgrims can perform their Hajj rituals optimally.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas has said that the government has made several improvements to ensure that the current Hajj season leaves Indonesian pilgrims with a positive impression.

"All improvements to Hajj organization quality are to ensure Indonesian Hajj pilgrims can perform their Hajj rituals optimally," Qoumas told Indonesian Hajj organizers at the Arafat Plain, east of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, according to a statement received here on Saturday.

Hajj pilgrims will relocate for several days from Mecca to the Arafat Plain to perform wuquf (compulsory stay at the Arafat during Hajj) -- which is considered the main Hajj ritual -- before Eid al-Adha on June 16, 2024.

The improvements have been carried out based on the evaluations of previous Hajj organization and they cover all aspects, including management, finance, service quality, and accountability, Qoumas informed.

He stressed that Hajj services have been arranged meticulously by prioritizing efforts to mitigate risks and considering inputs from Indonesian ulemas to ensure compliance with Islamic law.

Improvements in the pre-departure aspect, he said, have comprised fast-track immigration services for pilgrims departing from Jakarta, Surakarta, and Surabaya, and more varied and intensive pre-Hajj guidance for pilgrims.

The minister highlighted that improved catering services through the use of Indonesian recipes, chefs, and food ingredients have made foods served to Indonesian Hajj pilgrims more enjoyable.

"It also positively impacts Indonesian exports and helps develop a prospective Hajj economy ecosystem," Qoumas added.

Improved service arrangements for the pilgrims have also enabled Indonesian Hajj organizers to cater to up to 45 thousand elderly and disabled pilgrims this year.

Besides helping vulnerable pilgrims complete their Hajj, this has been consistent with the "Elderly-friendly Hajj" mission of Indonesian Hajj organizers, he said.

"We express gratitude for Hajj organizers' commitment and tireless work in serving Indonesian pilgrims," he added.

For this year's Hajj season, Indonesia received a Hajj quota of 241 thousand, comprising 213,320 for regular Hajj and 27,680 for special Hajj pilgrims.

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Translator: Sean Filo Muhamad, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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