More than 10 million Muslim pilgrims are expected in the new season of Umrah or lesser pilgrimage that is due soon in Saudi Arabia.
The huge number was revealed in a report by Al Arabiya TV which quoted unidentified sources as saying that the kingdom is preparing for a huge Umrah season, Gulf News reported.
The report added that around 300 companies providing Umrah services have applied and obtained related licenses.
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The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah also said last week it had begun issuing electronic visas for the new season of Umrah after the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform Hajj and umrah.
Umrah is called the minor or lesser pilgrimage because unlike Hajj it’s not compulsory. Although they share common rites, Umrah can be performed in a few hours and involves fewer rituals.