Here's What Telcos Are Offering Pakistani Hajj Pilgrims
Source: Business Insider

As the annual Hajj pilgrimage season approaches, telecom companies in Pakistan are strategically targeting the influx of pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia by offering competitive International Roaming (IR) packages. With approximately 160,000 Pakistanis making the journey to Saudi Arabia for Hajj, these telecom companies are aiming to capitalize on the potential clientele and provide convenient and cost-effective communication services for the pilgrims.

Competitive IR Packages

  • Jazz has introduced an IR package offering 5GB of internet data for Rs2,000.
  • Telenor has launched its ‘Hajj Saudia Bundle’ exclusively for prepaid users at Rs799. This package includes 1GB of internet data, 30 minutes of voice calls for both incoming and outgoing, and 30 SMS, with a validity of 30 days.
  • Zong 4G is offering international roaming at Rs1,200, providing 1GB of data, while higher data options of 3GB and 5GB are available at Rs3,300 and Rs5,400 plus tax, respectively. Notably, Zong 4G claims to offer WhatsApp audio and video calls, which are unavailable through local operators in Saudi Arabia.
  • Ufone’s IR package offers unlimited access to WhatsApp calls for seamless communication with friends and family back home. The 7GB package is priced at Rs4,000 and includes unlimited WhatsApp calls and messages from Saudi Arabia, valid for 40 days.
Ufone 4g Connects Pilgrims Through Its Industry-Best Hajj Data Roaming Offer
SOurce: Ufone

Benefits of IR Packages

The active promotion of these IR packages by telecom companies is driven by the significant increase in the number of pilgrims compared to previous years. In 2022, only 80,000 pilgrims were permitted to perform Haj, and due to COVID-19 restrictions, there were no pilgrims from Pakistan or any other country outside Saudi Arabia in 2020 and 2021. The telecom companies, recognizing this surge in demand, are leveraging their surplus capacity and offering attractive rates to cater to the needs of pilgrims.

One advantage of IR packages over obtaining a local SIM is the convenience they provide. Many pilgrims face challenges due to a shortage of foreign currency and a lack of familiarity with international travel. As a result, acquiring local SIM cards becomes a cumbersome process. By offering IR packages, telecom companies eliminate the need for pilgrims to go through the hassle of purchasing and activating a local SIM, providing a seamless and user-friendly experience for the customers.

Hajj Made Easier With WhatsApp Calls Via Zong 4G's Roaming Data Offer
Source: Zong

Government Collaboration for Payment System

In addition to the telecom companies’ efforts, the government of Pakistan has collaborated with a Saudi Arabian bank to facilitate payments for sacrificial animals for Pakistani pilgrims. Mobile vans located near the residences of the pilgrims will issue tokens for sacrificial animals upon payment of 720 Saudi Riyals. This collaboration aims to streamline the process and make it more convenient for pilgrims to carry out their religious obligations.

Telecom companies in Pakistan are capitalizing on the influx of pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj by offering competitive IR packages. These packages provide cost-effective and convenient communication services, eliminating the need for pilgrims to acquire local SIM cards. The increase in the number of pilgrims and the surplus capacity of the telecom companies have facilitated this venture.

Furthermore, the collaboration between the government and a Saudi Arabian bank to streamline payment for sacrificial animals adds another layer of convenience for the pilgrims. Overall, these initiatives contribute to enhancing the overall Hajj experience and enable pilgrims to stay connected with their loved ones during this important spiritual journey.

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Usman Kashmirwala
Your thoughts are your biggest asset in this world and as a content writer, you get a chance to pen down these thoughts and make them eternal. I am Usman Kashmirwala, apart from being a movie maniac, car geek and a secret singer, I am a guy lucky enough to be working in a profession that allows me to showcase my opinions and vision to the world every day and do my little part in making it a better place for all of us.