MORE PILGRIMS ARRIVE
Tabung Haji maktab operations picking up pace
AS the number of Malaysian haj pilgrims arriving here nears the halfway mark, operations at the maktab housing the pilgrims are starting to pick up pace. Crowds at hotel lobbies have increased, services offered are enjoying a steady stream of customers and maktab managers have come up with user-friendly ways to make pilgrims’ worship process as comfortable as possible.
At the Land Premium Hotel here, located 950m from the Grand Mosque and able to accommodate 4,800 pilgrims, about 2,000 pilgrims had arrived, Maktab 82 manager Ashrof Shamsuddin said.
“Everything is operating well, including services offered by Tabung Haji (TH), the Muassasah and third parties.”
He said the pilgrims were in good health.
He said pilgrims at the hotel would be given an “infokit” upon arrival, which contained a map showing directions from the hotel to the Grand Mosque.
“The kit also has a list of services provided by the hotel, their working hours and phone numbers of key TH officers at the maktab.”
He said pilgrims would also receive a Muassasah Card, which indicates their maktab number and accommodation details in Arabic.
He said they could show the card to Saudi authorities or locals as a form of identification.
“These will be available on their beds the moment they arrive, and they are reminded to keep it with them at all times.”
Mohd Yusof Ahmad, 47, from Shah Alam, Selangor, praised the Land Premium Hotel for its wide range of facilities, which includes a clinic, financial centre and cafe that offers Malaysian dishes.
“The infokit and Muassasah Card ensures that we do not get lost when we go to the Grand Mosque or want to find our way back,” he said.
Zwar Al Bait Hotel (Maktab 80), which accommodates about 2,000 pilgrims, has a large lobby with WiFi connectivity and booths offering services. It is a popular spot for hotel guests.
“This is the nearest maktab to the Grand Mosque, about 600m away, so we urge pilgrims to take advantage of this and join the congregation in prayer at the mosque,” Maktab 80 manager Ahmad Hapizudin Abas said.
Maktab 87 (Rehab AlJanadriyah Hotel) manager Amat Kassim Pait said his hotel had received 1,200 pilgrims so far, and would house 2,500 more when six other flights arrive.
“The distance from our building to the Grand Mosque is about 950m. Pilgrims have several options to get to the mosque. They can either walk, take a taxi or van.”
He said health wise, Malaysian pilgrims at Maktab 87 were well.
“Some have complained of coughing, but there are no serious cases, so far.”
Ahmad Hapizudin Abas
Amat Kassim Pait