The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah authorized the launch of a new Saudi registration system devoted to serving Muslims from Europe, North America, and America electronically earlier this month.
According to the Ministry, this online portal allows the issuance of visas electronically to fulfill the aspirations of honorable pilgrims from these countries and provides a quick and easy procedure.
No clear information was given.
However, while registering pilgrims before the 2022 Hajj Season, various complaints regarding the platform began to appear on social media. The problems started when the registered pilgrims were notified that the system conducts a lottery system to choose which congregations were selected.
Although the platform has provided a feature to inform the selected users, the lack of clarity in the draw system caused many users to be confused by the statement ‘approved, pending, and amendment’ that appeared on the platform.
Many pilgrims paid, but their payment was not verified.
Meanwhile, other prospective pilgrims were faced with an automated message from Motawif, “Your Booking Has Failed,” despite having paid in full, which then caused #paidbutfailed to become an online trend on social media.
Motawif previously said this was a technical issue, and users would still be given the package they had paid for. Still, the platform, which seemed unprepared to serve users changed its statement by informing applicants of several conditions such as ‘Packages are not available’, ‘Hotels are not available’, and ‘Flights are not available’.
Many of them returned to their homes from the airport.
On the other hand, users who manage to get the package they paid for are left stranded with no communication from Motawif about their Ticket information.
The Council of British Hajjis reported that nearly a dozen people were turned away at Manchester airport on Saturday as e-tickets covering flights and the Hajj were not issued on time.
However, prospective pilgrims had completed their payment obligations.
The ‘Indian’ app places pilgrims with non-mahrams in a single room
Discomfort continued when some pilgrims arrived at the Kingdom but found themselves randomly assigned to non-mahram rooms with triple or quad-sharing rooms even though, at the time of registration, they had booked double-sharing rooms with their mahrams.
A British pilgrim who did not want to be named said that hotel staff and pilgrims were confused by the room placements that Motawif had given randomly without considering the type of package and the congregation’s traveling companions.
Pilgrims who paid premium were put into rooms intended for lower packages, and no one from Motawif was found to be present to guide the hotel, which left pilgrims confused by themselves.
The Indian app “Motawif” is silent after creating chaos for pilgrims
The confusion in organizing the 2022 Hajj season provided by Motawif has worried the pilgrims about the services they will provide when they move towards Mina and Arafat in the coming days.
Several other pilgrims even asked the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to intervene to resolve the issue of Motawif services as the Ministry was considered responsible for giving Motawif operational permits, which were so close to the Hajj season.
Saudi Arabia recently outsourced their Hajj application to an Indian company. Everyone around the world warned about the shortcomings of the platform. The Indian company is linked to BJP-Modi, known for extremist views against Muslims.