Saudi Arabia agrees to revive ship services to Haj

With Saudi Arabia agreeing to the Minority Affairs Ministry's demand to revive the ship service for Haj, pilgrims in the state are upbeat.

Published: 11th May 2018 10:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2018 10:29 PM   |  A+A-

A representational image of pilgrims gathered at Haj. (File | AP)

Express News Service

MALAPPURAM: With Saudi Arabia agreeing to the Minority Affairs Ministry's demand to revive the ship service for Haj, pilgrims in the state are upbeat. The move will bring down the travel expenses for Haj and it will provide pilgrims with an opportunity to experience a voyage as well.

State Haj Committee chairman Thodiyur Mohammed Kunji Moulavi, who hailed the new move, said it will draw more devotees, especially underprivileged pilgrims. "Haj will be made affordable. And pilgrims will get different options," the chairman said. It's expected the ship service will bring down the travel expense by a big margin.

Currently, pilgrims are levied up to Rs 80,000 towards flight tickets. Travel agents say ship ticket charge will stand between Rs 15,000 and 20,000.

The decision to revive the ship route was taken during the signing of bilateral annual Haj 2018 agreement between India and Saudi Arabia earlier this year. The agreement was signed by the Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhthar Abbas Naqwi and Saudi Arabia Haj and Umrah Minister Mohammad Saleh Bin Taher Benten at Mecca.

The Haj Committee of India has published a notification inviting expression of interest from companies to operate ship service from the country to Saudi Arabia. The plan is to start the service in 2019.

The chairman said the State Haj Committee has so far received no official communication in this regard. "We are clueless about how pilgrims from the state would react towards the new facility. The Haj committee will arrange all facilities for interested pilgrims from the state if the new system is introduced," he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp