Saudi govt stops issuing Umrah visa till Aug 15
Published : Monday, 24 June, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 753
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) stopped receiving applications and issuance of Umrah visas until August 15 this year eyeing on Hajj management ahead of the upcoming Hajj season, according to a daily newspaper of the country.
Quoting Mohammed Bin
Badi, CEO of the National Committee for the Hajj and Umrah, the Saudi Gazette said the ministry will resume receiving applications for Umrah visas from Dhul Hijja 15 (August 16 this year), after the Hajj.
He said Umrah visas will be issued in five days and will be for a period not exceeding a month.
Subject to sighting the moon, this year's holy Hajj will start from August 9 Friday and end in the evening of August 14 Wednesday.
A record number of 76, 50,736 Umrah visas were issued this year.
Of them, 73, 93,657 pilgrims have visited the Kingdom, according to data provided by the ministry. Most pilgrims, around 65, 50,520, went to the Kingdom by air while 7, 07,955 entered by land and 1, 35,182 by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims were from Pakistan - 16,57,777 followed by Indonesia 9,67,125, India 6,50,480, Egypt 5,39,045, Algeria 3,65,628, Yemen 3,38,618, Turkey 3,21,494, Malaysia 2,78,674, Iraq 2,77,571 and Jordan 2,16,165.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organisations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government, according to the report of the newspaper.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.
Earlier, Hajj Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin said the ministry would like to see Umrah companies elevate the sector to unprecedented levels by raising the quality of the services they offered, especially in housing, transport and visits to historical sites.