Saudi Arabia issues more than 4.33 million Umrah visas

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 on August 25, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 03 March 2019

Saudi Arabia issues more than 4.33 million Umrah visas

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

RIYADH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year by Saudi Arabia has reached more than 4.33 million.
According to data provided by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the total figure for approved visas stands at 4,338,959, of which 3,892,554 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom. There are 443,560 pilgrims still in the country, with 304,897 of them in Makkah and 138,663 in Madinah.
Most pilgrims — 3,464,929 — traveled to the Kingdom by air, while 392,632 entered by land and 34,993 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (949,895), followed by Indonesia (633,253), India (408,495), Yemen (206,980), Egypt (204327), Malaysia (200,873), Turkey (183,164), Algeria (138,092), and Bangladesh (99,629).
The weekly data also included 8,441 males and 1,738 females working within Umrah companies and institutions.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government. Vision 2030 aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims and provide them with top-class services.


Saudi Arabia clarifies travel rules on students studying abroad

Updated 9 min 51 sec ago

Saudi Arabia clarifies travel rules on students studying abroad

  • General Directorate of Passports says all students are exempt from requiring permit from guardian
  • Exemption applies even if they are under 21 and traveling abroad to study

RIYADH: All Saudi students studying oversees will no longer need a permit from their guardians when they travel, even if they are under the age of 21.

Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports announced Monday that students will only require proof of their scholarship from the Ministry of Education.

The clarification comes after a sweeping set of reforms announced in a royal decree last month gave the right of every Saudi citizen to obtain a passport. A guardian’s approval is only needed for children.

Ther passports directorate also said Monday that after the death of both parents, a sibling above the age of 21 can provide a travel permit to a minor, provided he or she has been designated the legal guardian by a judge’s order.

The July 30 royal decree was widely welcomed in both the Kingdom and around the world. Among the most important changes to the law was that Saudi women no longer required permission from a male guardian to travel or obtain a passport.