Recently, the Ministry of Hajj has reported that the number of visas issued, till the month of May 2013, to the Umrah pilgrims is 4 million.
Just as the Ministry announces the opening of Umrah visas in the beginning of each year, the pilgrims begin to initiate with the application process to get the visa. Since the start of this year, 4 millions Umrah visas have been issued and more than 3.15 million pilgrims from 70 countries around the world have visited the Holy Lands of Makkah and Medina to perform the minor pilgrimage of Umrah.
The Ministry of Hajj is always equipped to facilitate the ever increasing guests of Allah to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah who is the guardian of Two Holy Mosques has ordered the highest standard of facilities and the comfort to the pilgrims. Since the commencement of Umrah season, the staff of the Ministry is already operational and prepared to handle an enormous number of religious visitors intending to accomplish the fifth pillar of Islam.
The public relations director of the Ministry of Hajj, Ali Mohammed Al-Ghamdi said: “The ministry has trained its administrative and field staff to ensure Umrah performers felt comfortable while performing their rituals.”
He further confirmed the improvement in the services provided by the Ministry of Hajj to meet the demands of increasing number of Umrah pilgrims.
Issuance of the electronic visas to the pilgrims is part of the improved services. The plan is being laid out by the Ministry to deploy a fully integrated visa system incorporating Saudi missions abroad. This e-visa system has been introduced to make sure that the pilgrims get provided with all the services they have registered for through the Umrah operator.
On average, each pilgrim spends about SR 7,000 and SR 15,000 on accommodation, food, drinks, gifts and phone calls. Compared to the year 2011, 10 percent increase has been noted in it in 2012.