JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - The departure of the Indonesian Hajj intending pilgrims to Medina will start from May 24 this year, Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas said.
"The Hajj travel plan will be used as a reference for organizing the Hajj pilgrimage within the country and in Saudi Arabia," Yaqut said during a meeting with the House of Representatives Commission VIII overseeing Social Affairs in Jakarta Thursday, Jan. 19.
The meeting discussed the 2023 Hajj travel plans prepared by the Directorate General of Hajj and Umrah Organization. The plan is in the form of a list of stages and schedules for the pilgrimage during the 2023 Hajj operational period.
The schedule includes the departure of pilgrims from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia, the peak pilgrimage to Arafah, Muzdalifah, and the implementation of Mabit in Mina, as well as the schedule for the return of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia, Yaqut said.
On May 23, pilgrims will begin to enter the Hajj dormitory, and on May 24, the first batch of pilgrim groups will depart for Medina, he said.
Then, the second batch of group one will depart for Jeddah on June 8 and stay at Arafah on June 27 for Wukuf. The return of the first batch of group one from Jeddah is scheduled on July 4.
He said that the Indonesian Hajj quota for 2023 has been set at 221,000 based on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the Indonesian and Saudi Arabian governments on Jan. 9.
"The quota for Indonesian pilgrims consists of 203,320 regular pilgrims and 17,680 special pilgrims," he added.
The quota for regular Hajj pilgrims is planned to include 84,608 pilgrims who postponed their trip in 2020, 9,864 pilgrims who postponed their trip in 2022, and 108,847 pilgrims who have not finished their payment.
"The payment of Hajj Travel Expenses can be fulfilled after the issuance of the Presidential Decree and KMA BPIH [Religious Affairs Ministerial Decree on the Hajj Management Body], which we plan to do in the third week of February this year," the minister said.
Yaqut further said that this year Hajj pilgrims would also consist of 62,879 pilgrims aged over 65 years.
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