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Latest News - 22 Jun 2018
British Hajj & Umrah Tour Operators Briefed Ahead of Hajj 2016

21 April 2016

The London Central Mosque Trust & The Islamic Cultural Centre (ICC) in Partnership with The Council of British Hajjis (CBHUK) held a UK Hajj Briefing session ahead of the Hajj 2016 which will be taking place in September this year. It is expected around 20,000 British pilgrims will be undertaking the journey of faith - the Hajj which is obligatory for every mature abled Muslim male and female who has the means to perform at least once in their lifetime.

Dr Ahmad Dubayan, Director General of The London Central Mosque & The Islamic Cultural Centre reaffirmed their commitment to working with the Council of British Hajjis. A list of action points was jointly launched by the two organisations offering guidance to the industry as well as community establishments when it comes to promoting licensed Hajj & Umrah packages. He called for better industry practices to be followed and that it was in the interest of all parties to work together to ensure the sacred journey for pilgrims is of the highest standard.

The event was supported by The London Central Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre (ICC), the Civil Aviation Authority and City of London Police and attended by the Hajj & Umrah Tour Operators and service providers.

Rashid Mogradia CEO of the Council of British Hajjis, said "It is important that Hajj and Umrah stakeholders delivering pilgrim services are aware of the challenges and issues facing pilgrims so that they can make the necessary provisions and put in place communication and emergency plans in case of any serious adverse events taking place. We have embarked in delivering a Hajj & Umrah seminars covering health and safety tips and advice for British pilgrims which have all been sell out events and we encourage prospective pilgrims to book themselves on this free course so that they derive maximum benefits on their journey of faith".

The Council further emphasised the need for licensed and reputable Tour Operators to support the City of London Police National Hajj Fraud Campaign and rid the industry of unscrupulous agents who were tarnishing the reputation of the industry and deliver value packages for the pilgrims.

Detective Constable Steven Kettle, from the City of London Police, said "This national campaign is focused on the twin objectives of preventing Muslims from falling victim to Hajj fraud and encouraging those who unfortunately do to come forward and report to Action Fraud. The key to keeping the fraudsters at bay is to follow a few simple steps such as making sure the travel agency you are using is an ABTA member and ATOL protected. It is also vital to get everything in writing and once you have made a decision on which package to go for that you pay by credit card."

Representatives from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) explained that any business wishing to put together and offer Hajj packages in the UK, which must include flights and ground arrangements, are required by law to hold an Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL) granted by the CAA. Licensing allows CAA to check the financial health of the business before it starts to take bookings, and provide financial protection to those people who book with the business should it become insolvent and fail.

The CAA also highlighted the importance of consumer awareness of the ATOL scheme; ATOL holders have an important role in highlighting this when offering and accepting Hajj bookings, and by issuing an ATOL certificate, which confirms protection arrangements for consumers. CAA is working with a number of government and non-government organisations to promote ATOL and support other key messages that help ensure consumers can avoid risks of losing their money to unscrupulous businesses, and deal with poor standards.

The London Central Mosque Trust Ltd. Registered in England and Wales. Company Number: 442394

Registered Office Address: 146 Park Road, London, NW8 7RG | Tel 020 7724 3363 | Fax 020 7724 0493 | Secretary 0207 725 2213, 0207 725 2152