KSA has issued more than 282,000 visas to Umrah pilgrims so far

The total number of Umrah pilgrims this year is expected to surpass last year's 19 million. (SPA photo)
Updated 07 October 2018

KSA has issued more than 282,000 visas to Umrah pilgrims so far

  • Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims
  • Last year, the a total of 19,079,306 Muslims arrived in the Kingdom to perform Umrah.

JEDDAH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 282,124, of which 96,038 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj and Umrah Ministry. 

There are 87,232 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 65,967 in Makkah and 21,265 in Madinah.

Most pilgrims — 89,990 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 6,048 entered by land. None arrived by sea.

The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (46,202), India (25,580), Indonesia (5,853), Sri Lanka (2,663) and Jordan (2,585).

The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience. Last year, the a total of 19,079,306 Muslims arrived from abroad to perform Umrah.

Earlier, Jeddah airport’s director general said that more than 10 million Umrah pilgrims are expected to come through the airport. The airport is Saudi Arabia’s largest and the first facility to serve pilgrims traveling by air, accounting for 40 percent of passenger movement in the Kingdom.

The airport management has implemented a number of development projects in the north and south terminals to boost operational efficiency and provide better service to passengers. 


Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.