Saudi Arabia issues more than 7.65m visas for Umrah pilgrims

504,809 pilgrims still in the Kingdom. (SPA)
Updated 14 June 2019

Saudi Arabia issues more than 7.65m visas for Umrah pilgrims

  • 278,368 of the remaining pilgrims are in Makkah and 226,441 are in Madinah

RIYADH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 7,650,736, of which 7,393,657 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj Ministry.

There are 504,809 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 278,368 in Makkah and 226,441 in Madinah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Most pilgrims — 6,550,520 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 707,955 entered by land and 135,182 arrived by sea.

The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (1,657,777) followed by Indonesia (967,125), India (650,480), Egypt (539,045), Algeria (365,628), Yemen (338,618), Turkey (321,494), Malaysia (278,674), Iraq (277,571) and Jordan (216,165).

The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 10,945 Saudis including 9,065 males and 1,880 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.

Earlier, Hajj  Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin said: “The ministry aspires to develop Hajj and Umrah companies and provide a model for distinguished companies that not only seek to make a profit, but also compete with similar international services in the hospitality sector and enrich the pilgrims’ experience. The ministry is fully prepared to develop and support such a model.”

Over the next two years, Bentin said the ministry would like to see Umrah companies elevate the sector to unprecedented levels by raising the quality of the services they offered, especially in housing, transport and visits to historical sites.

Saudi Arabia’s first female CEO makes Forbes 100 most powerful women

Updated 13 December 2019

Saudi Arabia’s first female CEO makes Forbes 100 most powerful women

Saudi Arabia’s first female CEO is named in Forbes 100 most powerful women in the world for a second time.

Rania Nashar, Samba Financial Group CEO, was ranked 97th in the list that also included 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

The list also included the United Arab Emirates’ Raja Easa Al-Gurg ranked at 84. The Emirati, who is a Board Member of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was also featured in the list in 2017.

The top 10 in the list included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde, who was newly appointed president of the European Central Bank.