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Saudi Arabia to issue 10m Umrah visas in 2016

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Saudi Arabia to issue 10m Umrah visas in 2016

Thereport24.com Desk:

New regulations aim to increase the number of Umrah pilgrims to 1.25 million a month, leading to 10 million Umrah visas a year, according to Saudi Arabian Hajj Minister Bandar Hajjar, who said the new plan would be applied in 2016 (1437 Hijri).

In the next four years — by 2016 (1440H) — the total number of Umrah visas will reach 60 million.

The minister said he would meet with heads of Umrah companies to discuss the operational plan for the season. He stressed the importance of preparing all services for pilgrims in coordination with others government agencies.

“This high number of Umrah pilgrims will benefit from mega projects at the holy mosques,” he said.

Abdallah Tashkandi, a member of the Umrah and Haj Committee at the Makkah Chamber for Commerce and Industry, said the new regulation would have a positive impact on service providers, as the business will increase.

Speaking to Arab News, he said: “Hajj and Umrah service companies suffered from the reduced number of Umrah pilgrims in the last few years due to the expansion projects at the Grand Mosque.”

Hajjar had said in September that this Haj season would see the last reduction in the number of pilgrims. “Starting from next Haj season, the number of pilgrims will increase to 5 million and then to 30 million in the coming five years,” the minister was quoted as saying.

Source: Arab News

Ends/thereport24.com/HB/Oct 12, 2015