Hajj 2024: Why Alkauthar Travels should be among Nigeria’s Top 10

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By Sani Tukur

I have keenly followed debates that have arisen following the announcement that Saudi Arabian authorities have asked all Hajj participating countries to present only 10 companies from Nigeria can be registered as private tour operators for Hajj 2024.

The debate has particularly been fierce because the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), is expected to select only 10 companies from among the over 153 companies on its register.

Already, the Commission has set up an 11-member committee to screen and recommend the 10 companies for consideration.

The leadership and members of the Association For Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria (AHUON) has advocated that NAHCON should allow it to merge and produce the 10 companies that would be forwarded to Saudi Arabian authorities.

Whatever the case may, this write up aims to urge whoever is eventually tasked with selecting the 10 companies to pick Alkauthar Travels and Tours Abuja to make the list. This call is borne out of personal experience and as a keen follower of happenings within the Hajj and Umrah industry.

I travelled with Alkauthar for Hajj 2022 and 2023 respectively, hence this intervention. Before then, I have travelled with other companies and have had cause to pay for my family to travel for Hajj with others well.

Travelling with private tour operators is often due to choose of luxury and shorter time frame to perform the Hajj and return home. I can say without fear of contradiction that travelling with Alkauthar has been a wonderful experience. Some may argue that they have had some “issues” while travelling with the company, which may be true and I am also not saying it was a completely rosy experience, however, compared to what obtains averagely, it is difficult to argue that travelling with Alkauthar is not worth anyone’s while.

Let me share briefly why I say so. In 2022, a year in which over 2000 pilgrims who fully paid but were unable to travel for Hajj that year, I only had cause to physically visit Alkauthar office once; to collect my visa and tickets. Everything else was done electronically.

Also, we spent less than 20 minutes at Madinah Airport upon arrival before we were chauffeur driven to a Hotel which as it happens wasn’t the Hotel the MD of Alkauthar, Hajiya Rabiat Umar booked for us. After a phone call, she promptly arrived the venue to “evacuate” us to a “proper hotel”. However, the owners of the hotel insisted that since we were taken to them first, they will provide our accommodation. Hajiya Rabi promptly put a call to only God knows who and we were promptly released to her and the owner of the hotel in question apologized profusely and went ahead to ask for her contact details in case he needed help in the future.

Upon arrival at our “real” hotel, we were all given our room key cards at the reception right in front of the elevators and we all dispersed to our various rooms. If someone had told me this experience during Hajj operations, I would have doubted, but that was what I personally experienced.

Another experience worthy of recall here is how the Haramain train outbound to Makkah, which had never delayed for more that 2 minutes in the past waited for Hajiya Rabi and her pilgrims for nearly 35 minutes because some had traffic issues. That is not all, some of us, (myself included) did not have our tickets with us because they were with her and she had to stay back to ensure everyone had left the hotel to the train station. We were asked to stay aside and only those with tickets should scan and open the revolving entrance points to head to the platforms. One of the pilgrims, a lady put a call to Hajiya Rabi and she assured that she would handle it. Not more than 3 minutes later, one of the officials at the train station arrived and asked “who are the pilgrims from Rabiat?” when we signaled to him, he asked us to follow him and he opened the entrance for us all with his tag and we got into the train after which Hajiya arrived and submitted all our tickets.

I can go on and on, suffice it to say, in Alkauthar, I saw how determination and the grace of God will open ways where there appears to be no way.

The Alkauthar MD offers services way beyond payments made and hardly “harrass” one for balance where there is any.

If any company deserves consideration to be among the 10 to be registered in Saudi Arabia, it is ALKAUTHAR TRAVELS AND TOURS LTD. ABUJA.

Sani Tukur writes from Abuja.