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‘No Cap on Number of Pilgrims in New Umrah Season’

Saudi Arabia has announced there is no specific ceiling on the number of Umrah pilgrims during the new Umrah season,

This announcement, made by Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah, is in line with the Kingdom’s plan to welcome pilgrims in new Hijri year.

Mashat said the number, however, should not contradict the requirements set by the competent authorities, and must be in compliance with the precautionary measures in place, Gulf News reported.

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He added that the authorities concerned have been directed to extend the necessary support to the licensed companies.

“Violating Umrah operators will be excluded from providing Umrah services and hefty fines for flouting visa rules,” he said.

Saudi authorities have shut down 540 Umrah service providers after their pilgrims overstayed their visas.

Each will have to pay between 150 million and 200 million riyals, with the total fines amounting to 2 billion.

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The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had rolled out earlier the most important conditions for performing Umrah for pilgrims from abroad, as this is set to return starting from August 10.

The Ministry stipulated that all those wishing to perform Umrah, visit the Prophet’s Mosque and pray in the Grand Mosque, complete receiving doses of the Corona virus vaccine approved in the Kingdom.

Pilgrims should also adhere to the institutional quarantine procedures in accordance with the mechanisms approved by the competent authorities in the Kingdom.

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.