A big increase is expected in the arrival of foreign Umrah pilgrims over the coming three months, ending with Ramadan, which is the peak annual Umrah season.
Saeed Bahashwan, member of the National Committee for the Activities of Hajj, Umrah and Visit, said that the Umrah service sector is expecting a big increase in the number of pilgrims coming from abroad during the next three months of Rajab, Shaban and Ramadan.
He attributed this to the ongoing elaborate preparations on the part of a number of countries to send their pilgrims to Makkah.
These countries include Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Uzbekistan and Libya, Al Arabiya.net reported.
Bahashwan said that a total of 201 licensed Umrah companies and establishments are geared up to provide the best possible services for the pilgrims from their arrival until their departure to their homelands, after performing the Umrah rituals with ease and comfort.
He stressed the readiness of the Umrah services companies and establishments to provide distinguished services and hospitality to the pilgrims, including hotels, transportation and catering, and that is in compliance with coronavirus health protocols.
The effective implementation of the electronic system to get permits issued for performing Umrah, prayer at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Rawdah Sharif at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, and visiting the Prophet’s grave, and elaborate arrangements for the smooth flow of pilgrims in line with the coronavirus protocols are instrumental to the increase of pilgrims, Bahashwan said.
He also noted that this would contribute significantly to the recovery of the Umrah sector and the subsequent rise in occupancy rates of hotels and residential facilities, as well as an increase in commercial activities in terms of transportation, restaurants, shopping and other service sectors in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah emphasized that the Umrah pilgrims, visitors and worshipers shall fully comply with the precautionary measures against coronavirus by wearing mask and maintaining social distance at the Two Holy Mosques so as to protect pilgrims from transmission of infection.