Banks to remain open this weekend to receive Haj 2024 applications

Designated branches of authorised banks to remain open form 9am to 2pm on SPB directions

Web Desk
Friday, December 08, 2023
Muslims encircle the Kaaba, Islam's most sacred site, during Ramadan in Mecca. — AFP/File

In a positive development for people wishing to participate in Haj 2024, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Friday announced that authorised banks will remain open on Saturday and Sunday — December 9-10 — to receive applications across the country.

Designated branches of the authorised banks — on directions of the State Bank of Pakistan — will remain operational on the weekend from 9am to 2pm to collect application forms along with dues from intending pilgrims for Haj 2024.

The ministry, which opened Haj 2024 registration on November 27, has authorized 15 banks namely National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank, United Bank, MCB Bank, Allied Bank, Bank of Punjab, Bank Alfalah, Zarai Taraqiati Bank, Faysal Bank, Askari Bank, Bank Al-Habib, Habib Metropolitan Bank, Soneri Bank, Meezan Bank and Bank Islami to collect application forms for Haj 2024 till December 12.

About 89,605 Pakistanis will perform Haj under the government scheme next year at a cost of Rs1,075,000.

The government has introduced both long and short-term packages spanning over 38 to 42 and 20 to 25 days, respectively.

Meanwhile, women, for the first time in history, will have the opportunity to undertake the sacred journey without the traditional requirement of a male companion.

Furthermore, the government would provide free-of-cost mobile SIMs with roaming internet packages to the Pakistani pilgrims.

It is to be noted that the applications can be submitted on a passport valid till December 16, 2024, and the Haj application can also be processed on a passport application token.

Moreover, coronavirus vaccination requirement has also been abolished by the Saudi government for the next year's pilgrimage.