More than 1.5m Umrah visas issued so far

Most pilgrims — 1,094,403 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 96,523 entered by land and 35 arrived by sea. (SPA)
Updated 02 December 2018
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More than 1.5m Umrah visas issued so far

  • The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan followed by Indonesia, India, Yemen, Malaysia and Turkey

JEDDAH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 1,509,936, of which 1,190,961 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj and Umrah Ministry.
There are 337,876 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 232,117 in Makkah and 105,759 in Madinah.
Most pilgrims — 1,094,403 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 96,523 entered by land and 35 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (337,876) followed by Indonesia (233,792), India (196,726), Yemen (56,972), Malaysia (54,214) and Turkey (29,628)
Meanwhile, the launch by Saudi budget airline Flynas of direct flights from four major Indonesian cities to Madinah is expected to provide a more affordable Umrah package for Indonesians.
It will also offer an alternative to those who are on the waiting list to perform Hajj, the mandatory pilgrimage for Muslims. Umrah is the lesser, non-mandatory pilgrimage.
The Indonesian cities are Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and Makassar, and the flights will return from Jeddah.
The airline holds a license from the Saudi government to operate Umrah and Hajj flights, and will provide a full service, including an Indonesian menu.


Islamic, European officials plan support for Sudan

Updated 19 July 2019
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Islamic, European officials plan support for Sudan

JEDDAH: Support for Sudan in the wake of a new deal on civilian rule was among items discussed during a meeting between leading Islamic and European officials in Saudi Arabia.
The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, received Finnish foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto, in Jeddah. Finland currently holds the rotational presidency of the Council of the EU.
Al-Othaimeen and Haavisto had a constructive exchange of views on common issues with particular focus on Sudan after civilian and military leaders signed an agreement aimed at installing a civilian administration.
The deal came after three months of deadlock since Omar Bashir was deposed as president, and the two officials discussed ways to back Khartoum in its transitional phase.
The secretary-general commended the role of Finland and the EU in promoting peace, security, stability and development in different parts of the world and expressed the OIC’s readiness to engage in issues of mutual interest.
Haavisto praised the role of the OIC in promoting the culture of peace, dialogue and understanding, noting the organization’s vast experience in leading peace building initiatives among its member states in collaboration with other partners.