The United Agents Office
The KSA Government spares no efforts or financial resources to ensure the well-being and protection of pilgrims to the Sacred House (the Kaaba) at Makkah al-Mukarrama and the Mosque of the Prophet at Madinah al-Munawwara.
In this context, the Ministry of Haj as a body tasked with the supervision of ‘’Arbab Al Tawaif" Establishments such as Tawafa Guides, agents and Zamzam Water Suppliers, has always sought to develop third-party services of ensure that the delivery of such services are properly and optimally carried out with a core focus on enabling pilgrims to perform the Haj and return to their countries of origin with much ease and convenience.
The Unified Agents Office acting as one of these agencies that offer a full spectrum of services for the benefit of pilgrims coming from outside the kingdom by land , sea and air ,from an array of languages coupled with a variety of behaviors, habits, traditions and religious schools of thought.
The Unified Agents Office serves as a vital link between stages of services delivered to the pilgrims ranging from reception ,through guidance to the places of dwelling at the cities of pilgrims, finalizing their formalities, paying the service fees of Tawafa Establishments, The Unified Office of Zamzama in Makkah ,and Unified Agents Office based in Medina, costs of tents at the City of Mina, the certified transport providers for pilgrims in return for a fee, facilitating the transport of pilgrims between Makkah, Medina and the holy places ,as well as their removal of luggage at the arrival checking points to assist them in addressing and preventing difficulties which they may encounter.
The duties carried out by the office helps the other authorities operating in the area of delivering services for the pilgrims to perform their assigned tasks and responsibilities, seen as an extension of their professions and functions of agents for hundred of years. Since the establishment of the Office in 1395 AH, it has seen enormous developments which led to the restructuring of the office and the incorporation of specialized departments intended for services with an emphasis on devising plans and procedural systems to ensure that each department or division carries out its assigned tasks. The office has spent huge investments to develop its services and improve its performance in an attempt to provide better facilities for the benefit of pilgrims to ensure that their Haj rituals can be performed with much ease and convenience.
Stemming from the steadfast belief of The Unified Agents Office in the importance of its services delivered for the benefit of pilgrims, the Office has embarked on taking all the preparations for the next season upon the completion of the previous Haj season. The operating action plan has been investigated and analyzed, together with all advantage s achieved with a core focus on enhancing and developing such action plan and monitoring the drawbacks in the future to secure improved delivery of services.
Fostering Initiative, continuous communication and excellence to serve the guests of Allah (pilgrims) and to achieve their well-being
Allah has honored the ‘Tawafa Establishments with the blessings to act as Tawafa, Guides, agents and Zamzam Water Suppliers by serving pilgrims at the Sacred House (the Kaaba) at Mecca and the Mosque of the Prophet at Medina upon their arrival to the Kingdom until their return back home after having performed the fifth pillar of Islam .There is no greater glory than to serve the pilgrims, This mission is indeed a blessing and serving pilgrims is honor, integrity and responsibility .
The Unified Agents Office has truly been keen on instilling and fostering the following values among all the staff:
Goals of the Unified Agents Office:
Theme No.1: Serving Pilgrims:
Speeding up the formalities in relation to the pilgrims at the land, air and sea border access points in a timely manner, reducing their stay periods therein , evacuating the available locations intended for the reception of other pilgrims going to the Holy Lands ,securing the comfort, facilitating and enabling smooth movement of pilgrims and enabling them to move to Mecca or Medina with much ease and convenience
Serving pilgrims throughout their stay period at the land, air and sea border access points, providing adequate reception conditions and welcoming the pilgrims, paying ongoing visits, overcoming constraints and difficulties and providing support and assistance in emergency cases.
Raising public awareness of pilgrims in terms of their rights and their responsibilities in order to ensure that the performance of Haj can be properly made and that their return to their homelands can be achieved with ease and convenience.
Providing healthcare facilities for the benefit of the elderly people and those persons with special needs, meeting all their needs during their presence at the entry and exit points, securing supervisors and officers in charge of their services together with the necessary workforce and making arrangements for their convenience.
Providing pilgrims with guidance and escorting them if necessary to a full spectrum of head offices of government and non-government service providers in response to their needs
Reducing the stay period of pilgrims at the inbound buses ,and fulfilling well-being by organizing tafweej from Mecca or Medina as per the on-field service groups and the places designed for their accommodation
Maintaining luggage of pilgrims at all stages of their several shuttles at the entry and exit points ,providing them with help in luggage identification , securing the adequate number of labor, supervisors , equipment, and vehicles that can ensure the performance of such task
Retaining and handing over the pilgrims’ passports to the representatives of the transportation companies and by turn to the competent Tawafa Establishments in Mecca or to the Guides Establishment in Medina
Collecting the charges of the Arbab Tawaif Establishments for the services rendered from all charged pilgrims for payment to the relevant agenciesas a means to enable them to perform the services assigned in Mecca and Medina.
Collecting the fees of tents in Arafat and Mina from all charged pilgrims and effecting payments to the relevant agencies as a means to provide them with accomodation and gain access to the necessary services , and reducing the phenomenon of sleeping on the roads or under bridges in the Holy Places with implications on the safety of pilgrims.
Paying transport fees ,issuing tickets as per the categories and the requisite and proper transportation lines as agreed with the Pilgrims’ Affairs Offices ( Missions) or the check type held by the pilgrim and payment of fees for the General Syndicate of Vehicles to enable transportation companies to perform the assigned services.
Receiving and welcoming pilgrims upon their performance of the haj duty and their return from Mecca or Medina ,speeding up the formalities of their return home and ensuring that their tafweej is carried out in accordance with the schedules set for their flights as required by instructions
Putting in place oversight and follow-up across several departments and sections of the office around the clock to ensure that the smooth and regular running of work in accordance with the operating action plan ,and boosting levels of performance
Putting in place support team (emergency) in order to optimize the benefits by avoiding any cases of stockpiling or bottlenecks, mainly on peak days and rush hours and during shift change to ensure that the performance is efficiently carried out on a hourly basis.
Increasing efficiency of specialized teams to finalize the relevant formalities of pilgrims and their reception to achieve the highest levels of performance and speeding up the execution of such procedures to ensure their convenience.
Putting in place the specialized teams on the ground to serve pilgrims, gaining access to information for guidance to several points of services and overcoming any difficulties encountered
Swift traffic, sharing and matching of data with the numbers of pilgrims that should pay online the charges of services for the Arbab Altawaif between the Ministry of Haj , Altawafa and Guides Establishments, and the Office
Organizing the process that the service charges of the Arbab Al-tawaif are collected from the pilgrims subject to payment in order to ensure that such paid charges are checked and verified by such establishments and that they can properly perform the services assigned.
Organizing the issuance of transport tickets for the pilgrims at the air and sea access points for a full range of the required categories and lines of transpotation and payment of fees to the General Syndicate of Vehicles to enable the corporate vehicles to perform services and transport pilgrims across cities and the Holy Places.
Organizing and increasing the efficient carriage , loading and discharging of the pilgrims’luggage at all the access points and ensuring that this task is properly carried out .
Theme No.3: Preparations and Development:
Early planning and development of operating action plans required for the reception of the projected numbers of pilgrims , and ensuring that the needs of human resources, machinery , equipment and all materials needed for their service .
Identifying the enhanced advantages to monitor all drawbacks to address the root causes and search for practical solutions of dealing with them and preventing them from occuring in the future
Carrying out academic and empirical studies required to develop and assess the working procedures as per the latest developments of the season as well as restructuring the same for streamlining purposes and ensuring expedited finalization and performance for the well-being of pilgrims.
Standardizing and documenting the procedures to be respected to serve the pilgrims to the Sacred House (the Kaaba) at Makkah al-Mukarrama and visitors of the Mosque of the Prophet at Madinah al-Munawwara
Training and identifying for the benefit of the Office staff the procedures that should be followed through cultural seminars and workshops held to ensure the expedited finalization and execution of such procedures.
Creating and developing locations of the Unified Agents Office at all the entry points for the reception of pilgrims upon their arrival to the premises of the Office and the expedited finalization of their procedures.
Allocating space for the gathering of pilgrims from each nationality by guiding, organizing and serving them during their presence at the access points.
Upgrading computer software and systems by building a database intended for the pilgrims for reference if necessary as a means to ensure transfer and sharing of data online with the Ministry of Haj, Tawafa Establishments and the relevant stakeholders.
Theme No.4: Coordination
Coordinating with the Ministry of Haj in order to overcome all difficulties and barriers for the well-being of pilgrims as a means to expedite the procedures for the return to their homelands with much ease and convenience.
Coordinating with all Pilgrims Affairs Offices (Missions) and entering into bilateral agreements that set out the rights and obligations of each contracting party with a core focus on ensuring that the performance of haj is properly performed and the return of pilgrims to their homelands with ease and convenience.
Coordinating with the Tawafa Establishments in order that the services are delivered to the pilgrims by achieving the best results with a core focus on ensuring the tafweej of pilgrims upon their arrival and departure with much ease and convenience.
Coordinating with the General Syndicate of Vehicles and Corporate vehicles to provide and make arrangements for several means of transportation for pilgrims
Coordinating with the Ministry of Health to follow-up the in-patient and hypnosis cases in Jeddah hospitals and issuing certificates for the deceased therein.
Coordinating with embassies, consulates, representations of the States to finalize the procedures to issue replacement passports and overcome any difficulties encountered by the pilgrims of such States.
Coordinating with the print and audio-visual media to highlight the role played by the Unified Agents Office to serve pilgrims
Coordinating with the public civil aviation authority, airliners and agents to expedite and finalize the procedures in relation to the return of pilgrims to their homelands and issuing replacement tickets.
Duties of the Unified Agents Office Relating to the Directives Governing the Haj Affairs:
1) Receiving the pilgrims at the entry ports as well as welcoming and guiding them to their accommodation at the pilgrim cities, for those who wish to stay there. The United Agents Office is also charged with taking care of their comfort and providing them with whatever they may need during their stay.
2) Before boarding the buses, the pilgrims' passports are to be collected at the airport, for those either coming from King Abdul Aziz International Airport (JED) in Jeddah or from Prince Mohammad bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah, on their way to Makkah or Madinah. Moreover, the data regarding their transport is to be prepared, such as their total number and the establishments they are affiliated to, considering the data of each bus separately. Then these data are to be delivered to the representative of the transporting company who will, in turn, deliver them to the National Tawafa Establishment in Makkah (Field Service Offices) or to the Guides Establishment in Madinah.
3) Transporting the pilgrims' luggage and providing sufficient labor to do so at every air, sea or land port, free of charge, as the fees had been previously collected through the bank checks which were collected from the pilgrims and the National Tawafa Establishments in exchange for the services set forth in these instructions.
4) Coordinating and cooperating with the pilgrims' representatives (offices of Hajj affairs, travel companies and agencies, and associations) as well as the concerned National Tawafa Establishments and the National Guides Establishment in order to guide the pilgrims to their field service offices.
5) Coordination with the General Syndicate of Vehicles to bring the buses assigned to transport the pilgrims to Makkah or to Madinah, and giving all kinds of assistance concerning their transportation and departure, in accordance with the arrangements governing such transportation.
6) Collecting the fees regarding the services of Tawafa Establishments, the tents and transportation, as well as setting out in detail all the payments effected by the pilgrim and attaching a receipt of such fees containing a detailed account of the payments to the pilgrim's passport. The United Agents Office should emphasize the fact that the government does not charge the pilgrim any fees from the pilgrim.
7)-Finalizing the pilgrims' departure procedures upon their return to Jeddah coming from Makkah after having performed their rituals, or upon their return after paying a visit to Madinah , and lodging them in their assigned accommodation in the pilgrim cities, if they so wish. Moreover, the United Agents Office will leave no stone unturned to facilitate their comfort and their departure, as well as to obtain their passports from the representatives of the transporting companies in order to hand them over to the pilgrims so they can finalize their departure formalities.
8)- Checking up on the pilgrims at the arrival or departure ports on an ongoing basis, and providing them with assistance to finalize their dealings with government departments if needed.
9)- Notifying the competent authorities at the arrival or departure ports of pilgrims who are lost, checking these ports constantly, at least every six hours, and notifying the general security departments if the pilgrims were not found, provided that does not affect the obligations of the search, as well as notifying the authorities of the search results
10)- Immediately informing the nearest health center when any of the pilgrims contract a disease upon arrival to the ports especially if they suspect this disease to be contagious, and helping pilgrims to check into hospitals or clinics to receive the proper treatment or bringing a doctor to examine and treat the pilgrim, if the need arises.
11) - Notifying the branches of the Ministry of Haj in Jeddah and the competent National Tawafa Establishments of the names, nationalities, ages and passport numbers of any pilgrims who died of natural causes, specifying what money, belongings and other valuables they had in their possession, documenting the place and cause of death and issuing the death certificate in accordance with the established procedures. The United Agents Office also coordinates with their Hajj missions and notifies the burial departments that The Departments of Supplies are affiliated to the Municipality to take the necessary actions regarding their burial.
12)- The United Agents Office is to establish offices at all the arrival and departure ports (air, sea, or land) to oversee the reception and departure of pilgrims. These offices are to be run by a selected group of experienced agents, assisted by a sufficient number of experienced staff and labor required to transport the pilgrims' luggage.
13)- As the pilgrims leave for Makkah or Madinah, the United Agents Office should take into account , in the extent possible, the following points:
* Not to place pilgrims of more than one nationality in the same bus, for those under the umbrella of Official Haj Missions but excluding those who fall under the supervision of companies, travel agencies and likewise.
* To assign the passengers of the same bus, along with their luggage, to one field service office.
* On account of the operating requirements and the need to vacate the sites on a regular basis to prevent overcrowding, and if the need arises as well as only on rare occasions, not more than two nationalities or groups of pilgrims may be allowed to board the same bus, and that is sought only upon obtaining the approval of the branch of the Ministry at the port.
* The United Agents Office and the Reception Committee at the Ministry's branch in Jeddah shall be directly responsible for directing any one family to the same establishment, and not transporting them in more than one bus. Moreover, the United Agents Office and the Reception Committee shall cooperate together and make every effort to achieve that.
* In the case of more than one nationality of pilgrims boarding the same bus, the bus driver will be given a passenger list indicating the number of pilgrims that will be brought to each Tawafa Establishment as well as limiting the number of passengers specified for each bus.
* To write down the addresses and phone numbers of the complaint committees in the pilgrim cities.
*The United Agents Office shall deliver the passports of the pilgrims coming through Prince Mohammad ibn Abdul Aziz International Airport to the National Guides Establishment in Madinah, along with a passenger list containing the pilgrims' numbers, names, nationalities, passport numbers, the label number of the United Agents Office and the ticket number of the General Syndicate of Vehicles. Moreover, a United Agents Office model (c) will be attached to this passenger list through the automatic system of Hajj, and the National Guides Establishment is to be informed of the passports' data being held on account of non-payment of service fees.
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