A Nightmare The Saudi Booking System Has Left British Muslims Unable To Perform The Hajj

“A Nightmare”: The Saudi Booking System Has Left
British Muslims Unable To Perform The Hajj

British Muslims Unable To Perform The Hajj

Muslims in the UK who had paid thousands of pounds for flights and rooms through
a Saudi government-backed mechanism for the hajj pilgrimage has expressed their
outrage and despair at being stranded in the UK.

Hajj and Umrah pilgrims from Europe, the United States, and Australia
will no longer be able to book their packages through travel agents but
instead must apply through a lottery method known as Motawif.UK

As a result, many British Muslims have missed their flights, even though they
had paid for them.
Muneeb Sidyot from Leicester had to wait three years to do the hajj.
He had originally scheduled it for 2020, but because of the Covid pandemic, it had
to be moved to this year. He soon got an email that said, “Your payment was
successful, but your reservation did not go through.” A few days later, he got
another email saying that his “booking will be honored” and that his flights
had been set aside.UK

Sidyot didn’t believe Motawif’s promises, so he called his airline 48 hours before
his flight. He was told that he and his wife’s names weren’t on the list and that
Motawif may have overbooked.UK “Why did Motawif take my money if a package
might have already been sold?” he asked.


On Sunday, Sidyot’s flight to Jeddah left Heathrow without him, and he didn’t
know if Motawif would give him a full refund. He said, “We don’t want to lose a
single penny because the only service we’ve gotten is stress and wasted time
trying to get in touch with agents.”UK

Adam Ali, a healthcare worker from Preston, took time off work and paid
almost £20,000 for a hajj package for himself and his wife.
He was also told that his booking had failed.UK 

Motawif says it has a call center that is open 24 hours a day and speaks more than
one language. Ali spent hours taking international calls from Motawif in France
and Saudi Arabia, as well as calls from Motawif’s tech partner in Dubai, UK Travel,
which were from Holidayme and Umrah.

Ali said, “It’s been a terrible dream.” “I spent most of my first two weeks off
when I should have been on Hajj doing paperwork and asking questions at home.”

Sidyot and Ali’s stories are ones that many would-be pilgrims hear. UK
Many people have used the hashtag #paidbutfailed on Twitter to get Motawif’s
attention, saying that the company has been slow to respond.
Ali made a Twitter account to find out what was going on with
the fake package he was promised when he got almost no response.

Saudi Arabia

On Saturday, he and his wife were supposed to fly from Manchester Airport to
Saudi Arabia. Ali called his airline and hotel the day before to make sure his
plans were set, but he found out that no plans had been made.

The situation has been especially hard on the couple because their four-year-old
son has trouble learning. Motawif told Ali that they would fix the problems with
his booking within three days. Since next week is the last week for international
hajj pilgrims to fly, they could be given a flight at any time, which would mean
they would have to leave their son without much notice.

“Just thinking about that broke both of our hearts,” Ali said.
“We wanted to spend the last two weeks with him to show him
love and care so that he wouldn’t miss us when we left.”UK

Ali and many other people are still waiting anxiously to see
if Motawif will do what it said it would do and reschedule their flights.

British Muslims Unable To Perform The Hajj

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