Saudi Arabia makes visa more affordable for pilgrims: What has changed

By TravelWiseFeb 23, 2024 22:40 PMNews
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Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia
Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Source: Radio Liberty

Recently, travelling to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage has become more affordable thanks to various reforms and initiatives introduced by the Kingdom to promote tourism.

As the number of Umrah pilgrims is expected to increase during Ramadan, which is the peak season, there is an increased demand for travel and accommodation in the holy cities. Accordingly, rates usually rise during this period, The Nation writes.

Saudi Arabia makes visa more affordable for pilgrims: What has changed
Saudi Arabia makes visa more affordable for pilgrims: What has changed. Source: Visit World

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Affairs recently announced that individuals with permanent residency in the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US) can now perform Umrah without having to apply for an Umrah visa.

Representatives of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that this new measure is aimed at simplifying the umrah pilgrimage process, improving the quality of service and enhancing the overall experience for pilgrims in line with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030.

With this new rule in place, all eligible Umrah applicants can now schedule their pilgrimage through the Nusk app. In addition, pilgrims can now perform Umrah directly upon arrival.

In addition, the Saudi government has introduced visa-on-arrival options for residents of several regions, allowing them to enjoy a rich tourist experience with an Umrah visa. This inclusive policy also extends to first-degree relatives of visa holders.

Individuals also now have the option of performing Umrah with a transit visa, especially when travelling on Saudi Airlines, the Kingdom's national carrier.

Umrah, the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, is of great importance in the Islamic tradition and can be performed at any time of the year. Umrah rituals include wearing the Ihram, performing Tawaf around the Kaaba, and walking between the Safa and Marwah hills.

As reported by TravelWise, Saudi Arabia intends to revolutionize the World Expo experience by issuing a special visa for its 2030 event, promising "seamless entry from the plane to the metro."

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