Ministry: More than 3.8 million Umrah visas issued so far

Muslim worshippers perform the evening (Isha) prayers at the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah, in this August 25, 2017 file photo. (AFP)
Updated 16 February 2019
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Ministry: More than 3.8 million Umrah visas issued so far

  • Government and private sector entities in Makkah and Madinah are providing first-class services to the worshippers

JEDDAH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 3,896,580, of which 3,454,398 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj Ministry.
There are 431,293 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 297,147 in Makkah and 134,146 in Madinah.
Most pilgrims — 3,069,062 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 357,165 entered by land and 28,171 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (863,317) followed by Indonesia (564,273), India (373,781), Yemen (191,214), Malaysia (185,716), Egypt (177,695), Turkey (143,074), Algeria (119,545) and Bangladesh (86,476).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 10,124 Saudis including 8,386 males and 1,738 females.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
Government and private sector entities in Makkah and Madinah are providing first-class services to the worshippers.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.


I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

Updated 12 min 38 sec ago
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I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

  • “First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah” Akon said 
  • He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits at the Asharqiah Music Festival

DAMMAM: American rapper Akon captivated a packed crowd at the Asharqiah Music Festival on Friday, opening up the second night of musical festivities at Sharqiah Season with a special shout-out to Saudi Arabia.

“You have no idea, I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi for years, man,” Akon said, before launching into his song, “Gunshot.” Later, he told the crowd: “I’m seeing a tremendous change in Saudi Arabia here tonight."

At 8 p.m., under a bright moon on a beautifully cool night, Akon began his set, delighting fans who had spent over 10 minutes chanting his name in anticipation of his arrival.

He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits, including “Smack That,” “Mr. Lonely” and “Sorry: Blame It On Me.” And he wrapped things up with “I love you, Saudi... thank you for making me feel at home."

Backstage before the concert, Akon told Arab News how excited he was to be in Saudi Arabia for the first time. He was especially excited to visit one Saudi city in particular.

“First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah.”