Saudi ministry: More than 3 million Umrah visas issued so far

The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience. (SPA)
Updated 20 January 2019
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Saudi ministry: More than 3 million Umrah visas issued so far

  • Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government

JEDDAH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 3,024,272, of which 2,561,541 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj and Umrah Ministry.
There are 399,479 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 277,372 in Makkah and 122,107 in Madinah.
Most pilgrims — 2,288,789 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 257,266 entered by land and 15,486 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (681,392) followed by Indonesia (447,450), India (306,470), Yemen (146,067), Malaysia (142,290), Algeria (92,752), Turkey (86,925), Egypt (85,438), Bangladesh (53,131) and the UAE (62,927).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 9,983 Saudis including 8,259 males and 1,724 females.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.


Saudi Arabia calls for global action to tackle ‘frightening’ terror threats

Updated 17 min 6 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia calls for global action to tackle ‘frightening’ terror threats

  • Need for world peace has never been more crucial, says Al-Mouallimi

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia’s top envoy to the UN has called for a united global response to the “frightening” terror and security threats facing the world.

Addressing a special session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said the need for tolerance and peace among nations had never been more crucial.

Al-Mouallimi, the Kingdom’s ambassador to the UN, was speaking at a meeting to mark the first official International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.

The envoy said the UN had originally been set up with the specific purpose of preserving peace and security and protecting future generations from the “scourge of wars which have brought untold sorrow to mankind.” But he added that the scale of the challenges now facing the global community demanded urgent action.

“Today, we need peace more than ever, as our world is witnessing frightening crises and security challenges, such as continuing occupation, marginalization and oppression, and denial of peoples’ rights, leading to the spread of extremist ideologies, hate speeches and terrorist threats,” Al-Mouallimi told assembly delegates.

“Therefore, everyone is required to cooperate and coordinate, and promote the role of multilateralism and diplomacy to preserve unity and solidarity and spread the values of peace and the culture of tolerance.”

Multilateralism, diplomacy, mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries were well-established principles in Saudi Arabia’s international relations, Al-Mouallimi added, and were based on the Kingdom’s Islamic faith and commitment to the three pillars of the UN Charter, namely sustainable development, peace and security, and human rights.

During his speech at the UN headquarters, Al-Mouallimi recited a verse from the Qur’an stressing the principles of tolerance in the Islamic faith. Establishing the values of multilateralism, spreading the culture of acceptance of others, and promoting peace and dialogue among different societies and civilizations, were key factors in working toward world harmony, he said.

The ambassador noted that the UN’s foundation treaty called upon regional and international organizations to play a major role in the peaceful settlement of conflicts.

He said the UN was the most representative international organization for the people and countries of the world, providing a “global umbrella” for nurturing international relations among its members.

“The security, economical and intellectual changes our world is witnessing today, require us to further focus on promoting the role of the UN and its institutions in cooperation with all regional and international organizations, grant diplomacy and multilateralism a greater role in keeping pace with change, and promote the mutual objectives of permanent peace, tolerance, and living together in peace with one another and as good neighbors,” Al-Mouallimi added.    

The Saudi envoy also met with the permanent representative of Indonesia to the UN, Dian Djani. Their talks, held in New York, reviewed Indonesia’s representation at the UN Security Council and its role in highlighting Islamic and other issues of common interest.

During their meeting Al-Mouallimi pointed to the close existing ties between the two countries and the Kingdom’s desire to further strengthen them.