Explained: How to visit Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah this Ramadan

Explained: How to visit Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah this Ramadan
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Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan  around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque con April 13, 2021. (AFP)
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Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque con April 13, 2021. (AFP)
Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan  around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque con April 13, 2021. (AFP)
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Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque con April 13, 2021. (AFP)
Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan  around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque con April 13, 2021. (AFP)
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Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque con April 13, 2021. (AFP)
Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan  around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque con April 13, 2021. (AFP)
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Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque con April 13, 2021. (AFP)
Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan  around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque con April 13, 2021. (AFP)
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Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque con April 13, 2021. (AFP)
Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan  around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque con April 13, 2021. (AFP)
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Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque con April 13, 2021. (AFP)
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Updated 28 April 2021

Explained: How to visit Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah this Ramadan

Explained: How to visit Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah this Ramadan
  • Dr. Amr Al-Maddah of Ministry of Hajj & Umrah addresses frequently answered questions about the ritual
  • Operational capacity of Grand Mosque is determined on the basis of Health Ministry COVID-19 measures

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced guidelines for issuing Umrah and prayer permits for the month of Ramadan. Vaccinations are at the top of the priority list, with no worshippers allowed into either Makkah’s Grand Mosque or the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah without having received at least one dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

Additionally, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance has highlighted the need to follow all precautionary measures to ensure the safety, health and security of those visiting the two holy mosques. Millions of worshippers have visited the mosques while wearing masks and maintaining physical distance since a seven-month suspension of prayers and Umrah was lifted last October.

An estimated 1.5 million worshippers have been to the Grand Mosque in the first 10 days of Ramadan alone. In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, deputy minister for Hajj and Umrah services at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, answered all possible questions of pilgrims and worshippers who wish to perform the Islamic ritual this Ramadan.

What is the operational capacity of Makkah’s Grand Mosque?

The Grand Mosque can welcome up to 50,000 pilgrims and 100,000 worshippers every day.

Are pilgrims from outside the Kingdom allowed to perform the Umrah during Ramadan?

Yes, pilgrims from several countries will be performing the Umrah.

Do the same health requirements apply to domestic and foreign pilgrims and worshippers?

A royal decree issued on Aug. 20, 2020, stated that all those wishing to enter the Grand Mosque are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Visitors and pilgrims coming from abroad must hold certificates that show they have been vaccinated.

Are there any acceptable vaccines other than the ones approved by Saudi Arabia, notably the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca shots?

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah operates based on the approved vaccines and reports of the Ministry of Health. The vaccine approval process is regularly updated on the basis of the reports provided by the health ministry.

The ministry’s assessment process takes into consideration the World Health Organization’s evaluation, the evaluation of the risks of new vaccines and the health ministry’s evaluation of the effectiveness of these vaccines.

As a service provider, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah totally depends on the information it receives from the government bodies capable of evaluating the vaccines and their efficacy. While the health certificate of every country follows a specific system, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah handles the matter based on the input from the health ministry and issues permits accordingly.




Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, deputy minister for Hajj and Umrah services. (Supplied)

How is the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah dealing with pilgrims from countries experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases?

The Kingdom has stopped flights from the countries from which entry for Umrah or any other purpose has been halted due to the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Flights from other countries have not been suspended despite an increase in coronavirus cases there because vaccines can prevent the transmission of the virus, mitigate the pandemic’s impacts and reduce the possibility of spreading the virus to other people. If the incoming pilgrim has already received a COVID-19 vaccine, the risk is assumed to be much lower.

How does a pilgrim’s journey go from the moment of arrival in Saudi Arabia to completion of the Umrah?

It is important to bear in mind that the operational capacity of the Grand Mosque is predetermined on the basis of the preventive measures adopted by the Ministry of Health. A pilgrim’s spot can be reserved using the Eatmarna app and the Tawakkalna app. Once a spot has been reserved, an entry permit is issued to the worshipper or pilgrim, who can show credentials to a reception center.

At the reception center, the date and validity of the permit are checked and the immunization status of the permit holder is verified. Before arriving in Makkah, the pilgrim must pay the charge for transportation services to licensed transport companies that ensure a safe transit by disinfecting vehicles and leaving spaces between the seats. Then the pilgrims are transported to designated bus stops at the Grand Mosque.

For example, pilgrims at the Kudai Center are transported to the King Abdul Aziz Gate, while those at the Al-Zahir Center are transported to Al-Shabika Gate. Pilgrims are dropped off according to their designated centers. Their permits are then checked once again for security reasons before they are allowed to perform the Umrah and pray during the time allotted to them.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has provided another path for pilgrims to perform the Umrah. This is done by booking a room at any hotel overlooking the Grand Mosque and the central area. Hotels can now assist individuals with room bookings to apply for performing Umrah during the course of their stay. Worshippers interested in this service can initiate the process by making a reservation at a hotel, which can then help the guest reserve a spot within the predetermined capacity of the Grand Mosque.

As for pilgrims coming from abroad, if their health status has not been entered into the Tawakkalna system, they will need to visit a healthcare center where they will receive all the help they need. Their health status will be updated according to the vaccination certificate provided by their home country. A suitable date is then reserved for the visitor to perform Umrah in accordance with the Grand Mosque’s operational capacity.

What provision has been made for the safe transportation of foreign pilgrims arriving via Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport and Madinah’s Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport?

There is a high level of coordination between the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and the Ministry of Health as well as security and service providers, namely the Public Transport Authority, the Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites and the Madinah Region Development Authority. There are unified standards and protocols for transportation. This includes pilgrims traveling between cities or within the city or accommodations for pilgrims who need to be quarantined after testing.




Worshippers circumambulate the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque complex in Makkah on October 4, 2020, amid extensive health precautions to fight the spread of COVID-19. (AFP file photo) 

All these standards and protocols have been formulated and clarified to ensure the safety of both local and foreign pilgrims and provide them with an uninterrupted experience. The risk-control measures are aimed at reducing incidents that might lead to a reduction in the number of pilgrims or a possible suspension of Umrah.

Have any permit violations been recorded since the beginning of the Umrah season?

Some violations have been committed. Every system will witness violations and all such cases are being dealt with on site in a timely manner. Security and service bodies are heavily deployed at the Grand Mosque, service centers and gathering points to monitor the situation.

Violators will be fined SR10,000 ($2,666) for performing Umrah without a permit and SR1,000 ($267) for worshipping at the Grand Mosque without a permit. This shows that the formal mechanisms to punish violators have been established and are being used when required. However, most people are observing the current regulations and health protocols.

What is the objective of the fines for Umrah permit violations?

The fines system was developed so the Grand Mosque, the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah and Makkah, as a whole, do not become a source for the spread of the virus. That is why there is a predetermined pilgrim-handling capacity at each site.

The desire to perform Umrah, Tarawih prayers or night prayers at the Grand Mosque is understandable. However, the world is witnessing an exceptional situation and everyone should come together under these circumstances. Simply put, the fines are meant to prevent people from committing violations that would pose a danger both to pilgrims and those working at the Grand Mosque.




All the protocols have been formulated and clarified to ensure the safety of both local and foreign pilgrims and provide them with an uninterrupted experience. (AFP File photo0

Can a pilgrim’s compliance with the coronavirus transmission-prevention protocols be monitored and assessed?

There are field teams working around the clock to follow up on the condition of pilgrims and their adherence to the health protocols and requirements. The security bodies are cooperating with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in this regard. Raising awareness is continuously made by all the bodies concerned.

Is the steady increase in the number of immunized people being taken into account in determining the number of permits?

The predetermined operational capacity is being updated every day. It has now reached between two and a half and three times what it used to be and will continue to increase in the coming days.

What will be taken into account is the overall health situation. The operational capacity is bound to increase in tandem with the increase in people’s awareness of the exceptional circumstances the world is facing. These circumstances require exceptional measures to be taken.

The more people get vaccinated, the lower the risk. Soon people will be able to go back to normal life and all will be welcome to visit the Grand Mosque.

Disinfection operations are currently taking place at the Grand Mosque. Are the buses for transporting worshippers and other facilities getting disinfected as well?

All buses, ticket counters, along with sorting and gathering points, are regularly being disinfected. The process was studied by companies and a specialized team has set the disinfection and sterilization intervals. The buses are disinfected after every cycle while the reception centers are disinfected every half hour as these are considered essential safety measures.

Will the vaccination requirement continue into this year’s Hajj season?

No royal decree has been issued yet on this matter. Once such a decree has been issued, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah will take action accordingly.

Could the experience of organizing the Umrah prompt the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to increase the number of Hajj pilgrims this year compared with last year?

Last year, the risk was high during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis. However, the methods of dealing with the pandemic have changed and the situation is completely different this time around.




A general view of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, with the Clock Tower in the background.  (AFP file photo)

The dates for the holding of the founding assemblies of the Arbab Al-Tawaif Establishments have been announced. How will these entities contribute to an improvement in the services provided to pilgrims and worshippers this year?

The holding of the founding assemblies and the transformation of these establishments into companies will open doors for qualified people from outside of the system, which in turn will contribute to turning these entities into massive national entities.

The hope is they will become “national champions” in serving the pilgrims. These companies, by virtue of their anticipated institutional reforms, will become huge entities that operate by widening the range of their services, acquiring assets and raising the profitability rates of their shareholders and employees.

They will, at the same time, start developing the existing local content of the service industry, from developing the capabilities and cadres working in this area to improving the quality of the services they deliver by adopting international standards instead of relying on just practice and experience.

A quantitative and qualitative transformation of these entities will ensure high-quality services. The transformation of the Arbab Al-Tawaif Establishments into Arbab Al-Tawaif Companies are expected to create the conditions for attracting the finest minds and skilled workers while providing pilgrims with better services and shareholders with higher profits.

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Twitter: @md_sulami


Saudi Arabia confirms 15 COVID-19 deaths, 825 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 15 COVID-19 deaths, 825 new cases
Updated 16 May 2021

Saudi Arabia confirms 15 COVID-19 deaths, 825 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 15 COVID-19 deaths, 825 new cases
  • The Kingdom said 1,028 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • 13 mosques temporarily closed after 13 people tested positive for coronavirus

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded 15 new COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,162.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 825 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 433,094 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 8,145 remain active and 1,376 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 263, followed by Makkah with 231, the Eastern Province with 98, Madinah recorded 62 and Asir confirmed 56 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 1,028 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 417,787.

The Ministry of Interior recorded 22,442 violations against coronavirus preventative measures across the Kingdom from May 9 to 15, with the highest reported in Riyadh with 8,202, followed by Makkah with 3,734, the Eastern Province with 3,504, and Qassim with 1,737. 
The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs temporary closed 13 mosques in five regions after 13 people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed to 1,201 within 99 days, 1,175 of which have reopened after being sterilized.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 163 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.38 million.


Saudi Arabia reopens King Fahd Causeway for travelers to and from Bahrain

Saudi Arabia reopens King Fahd Causeway for travelers to and from Bahrain
Updated 16 May 2021

Saudi Arabia reopens King Fahd Causeway for travelers to and from Bahrain

Saudi Arabia reopens King Fahd Causeway for travelers to and from Bahrain
  • Travel suspension for citizens, and the opening of land, sea and air ports would be lifted starting Sunday
  • A coronavirus insurance certificate is required for travelers below 18 years

DUBAI: Hundreds of thousands of daily travelers between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain through the King Fahd Causeway may once again access the border crossing when travel restrictions are lifted on Monday, May 17.
Residents shuttle between the two countries via King Fahd Causeway, but the travel artery was closed on March 8, 2020, because of COVID-19 safety precautions.
Travel suspension for citizens, and the opening of land, sea and air ports would be lifted starting Sunday, state news agency SPA reported.
An additional 10 lanes were installed to the departure area, bringing the total to 27 lanes, in addition to 36 lanes in the arrival area, Duwaihi Al-Sahli, director of King Fahd Causeway Passports, was quoted by the report as saying.
However, only those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or those who have recovered from the disease would be allowed to leave the Kingdom, authorities. They would be required to present proof via the Tawakkalna app installed in their mobile phones.
A coronavirus insurance certificate is required for travelers below 18 years.
For travelers heading from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, they will be required to carry any of the health applications approved in the GCC countries, which confirm whether they are vaccinated or have recovered from the virus, Bahrain’s news agency BNA reported.
They can also present PCR certificates which should not exceed 72 hours from the time of taking the sample, BNA added.
Jordan meanwhile said that exemptions previously announced for passengers’ entry through the Omari border post with Saudi Arabia have been canceled effective on Monday.
The decision was made after a series of measures were taken recently to help ease the entry of Jordanians and visitors from Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf countries, state news agency Petra reported, citing Interior Minister Mazen Al-Faraya.
Border regulations previously required the presentation of a certificate proving they received two coronavirus vaccine doses and a negative PCR test 72 hours prior.
Travelers can now pass without registering on the platform or having a PCR test on the border, the report said.


Taif closes popular park after increase in visitors during Eid

Taif closes popular park after  increase in visitors during Eid
Updated 16 May 2021

Taif closes popular park after increase in visitors during Eid

Taif closes popular park after  increase in visitors during Eid

TAIF: Taif municipality closed Al-Ruddaf Park after an increase in the number of visitors in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Earlier, a joint committee closed two other parks in Taif that neglected to properly implement precautionary measures.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Province municipality carried out 1,192 inspection tours and 12 other joint tours with relevant authorities, in markets, commercial centers and retail stores.

The tours resulted in the closure of 17 establishments found to be in violation of preventative measures in place to prevent the spread of the disease.

The municipality confirmed that it would continue its intensive monitoring tours and awareness-raising campaigns at commercial and food establishments in the markets.

INNUMBERS

432,269 - total COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia

416,759 - total recoveries

7,147 - total deaths

It is also ensuring that the protocols are applied inside stores, especially in barbershops and women’s beauty centers.

It called on everyone to cooperate and report violations through the complaints call center 940.

Jeddah carried out 7,356 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities and identified 323 violations for issues related to overcrowding and the failure to effectively use the Tawakkalna app. Authorities have shut down 92 commercial outlets for breaching COVID-19 protocols.

Saudi Arabia reported 13 more COVID-19-related deaths on Saturday. The death toll now stands at 7,147. The Ministry of Health reported 837 new cases, raising the number of people who have now contracted the disease to 432,269, with 8,363 active cases, 1,331 of which are in critical condition.

According to the ministry, 290 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, 240 in Makkah, 97 in the Eastern Province and 55 in Madinah. In addition, 1,012 patients have recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 416,759.

Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 17,916,457 PCR tests, with 47,586 carried out in the past 24 hours.

Saudis and expatriates in the Kingdom continue to receive their COVID-19 jabs, with 11,400,807 people inoculated so far.


Saudi Arabia leads Arab action in UN to highlight Palestine violence

Saudi Arabia leads Arab action in UN to highlight Palestine violence
Updated 16 May 2021

Saudi Arabia leads Arab action in UN to highlight Palestine violence

Saudi Arabia leads Arab action in UN to highlight Palestine violence
  • Saudi envoy urges world community to protect civilians

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN in New York, Abdallah Al-Mouallami, has met the permanent Chinese delegation to the UN in his capacity as president of the Security Council for this month, as the Kingdom leads Arab action on Palestine.

The Arab small group meetings aim to provide information in the Security Council about the Israeli attacks against Palestinians, especially recent ones so that the international community can carry out its duties to protect civilians.

The meeting was attended by Faisal Al-Haqbani, the special political committee’s official from Saudi Arabia’s permanent delegation to the UN.

Al-Mouallami also met the president of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkır, as the Kingdom leads an Islamic movement for Palestine. The meetings of the Islamic Group with the president of the General Assembly aim to shed light on the recent Israeli attacks to urge the international community to protect civilians.

Saudi Arabia has always been the first to support the Palestinian cause in the UN and before the international community.

On Friday, the Saudi foreign minister spoke to the Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Al-Maliki on the phone. During the call, Prince Faisal bin Farhan affirmed the Kingdom’s condemnation of illegal practices carried out by Israeli authorities, and the need to immediately stop the country’s escalatory actions that violate all international norms and conventions.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation in Jerusalem and Gaza, at the request of Saudi Arabia.

The meeting between foreign ministers of OIC member nations will address continuing Israeli attacks in the Palestinian territories.


Saudis pack their bags and prepare for bumpy takeoff

Saudis pack their bags and prepare for bumpy takeoff
Updated 16 May 2021

Saudis pack their bags and prepare for bumpy takeoff

Saudis pack their bags and prepare for bumpy takeoff
  • Coronavirus restrictions in some countries have restricted Saudi travelers’ options

JEDDAH: With summer knocking on our doors, Saudi travelers will head to the Kingdom’s airports for their first international journeys in over a year — but many face challenges ahead.

After more than 14 months of international flight bans, Saudis are ready to don their blue disposable face masks and use up their air miles on May 17.

Almost 11.5 million residents of the Kingdom have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine jab and more than 400,000 recoveries have been reported by the Saudi health ministry.

While some Saudis have restricted their holiday or business destinations to the safest areas due to COVID-19 protocols, many are undeterred by the challenges ahead and can’t wait to fasten their seatbelts.

Planning a holiday in the coming months will be far from easy — choices are limited and quarantine measures are in place in a number of destinations that are popular for summer holidays. However, many tourists are still willing to travel and face the music. 

In the wake of the global pandemic, both countries and individual travelers are wary of restrictions. But even with a massive vaccine rollout in place, and authorities easing travel abroad for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered from the illness, many Saudis are opting to head closer to home. 

“As soon as we heard that Bahrain is allowing Saudis in without the need to quarantine, we raced to book our hotel and tickets, but they were fully booked for the first week,” said 34-year old Maha Al-Hussain from Riyadh.

“My family and I had the good fortune to visit Jeddah every now and then, but we’d like a holiday for the children to roam free and swim all day, so everyone can just take a break.”

My family and I have been searching for a new and different place to travel to for a few days now and my father was adamant that we do so especially since we’re all vaccinated.

Kholoud Yousef

The mother of three told Arab News that although it is hard to book flights for seven people at the moment, the family decided to make the four-hour drive to Bahrain and hope for a smooth entry at the King Fahd Causeway. 

“All of the adults are vaccinated and our children know the rules by now,” she said. “We went through hardships as did everyone this year. The trip is important for us all and we’ve been extra careful through it all. We’ll continue being careful until we’re back home again.”

Earlier, Bahrain announced that all GCC visitors who are fully vaccinated or recovered are no longer required to undergo a PCR test on arrival but must show evidence of vaccination or recovery. 

For Saudis, a little more care and attention is given, with a welcome back campaign launched by the neighboring island kingdom featuring the slogan “walahna alaikom,” or “we’ve missed you.”

While the state of travel to the 20 countries on the list remains in place, airlines are ready to operate normally to many cities across the world, although a number of countries are limiting arrivals. 

Several EU member states have limited arrivals from outside the EU, while others are allowing visitors back but with restrictions. 

On Friday, Greek Ambassador to the Kingdom Alexis Konstantoloulos announced that Saudis wishing to travel to Greece will be able to do so with a negative PCR test or vaccination certification and on completion of a passenger location form.

FASTFACTS

Saudis permitted to travel abroad: • Saudis who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

• Saudis who have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine no less than 14 days before the flight.

• Citizens who recovered from COVID-19 at least six months before the flight.

“Welcome back to our Saudi friends, Greece is expecting you,” he tweeted.

Pre-travel PCR tests conducted no more than 72-48 hours before arrival, travel insurance, five to 10 days of quarantine on arrival at the traveler’s expense and post-arrival PCR tests are among the requirements a number EU member states are requesting, but the numbers are limited as many countries are restricting nonessential travel. 

The UK, a favorite destination for many Saudis, will require self-isolation on arrival as Saudi Arabia remains in its amber category. The list will be reviewed every three weeks, according to UK officials.

Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, Russia, Spain, Poland, Vietnam, Czech Republic and Belgium are among countries still suspending international tourist arrivals.

Citizens are urged to review travel restrictions for each destination as each country requires a different set of requirements before traveling and on arrival.

“Dubai is next,” said 32-year-old PR director Yousef A. “I’ve visited Dubai many times in the past few years and it has become something of a second home for my family and I,” he told Arab News.

“I did my homework. Saudi Arabia is on the UAE’s safe ‘green list’ and no quarantine is required. As soon as the Saudi authorities allow it, that will be my next destination.” 

The search for relaxed COVID-19 restrictions has been continuing for weeks after news was confirmed that the Kingdom’s travel ban would be lifted on May 17, but it is a struggle, as 27-year-old Kholoud Yousef explained to Arab News.

“We initially planned on traveling to Bali during the first week after the ban was lifted, but when we heard we’d have to quarantine for five days and take two PCR tests, we realized it would take a good chunk out of our holiday time and we don’t want to be holed up in our hotel rooms,” she told Arab News.

“My family and I have been searching for a new and different place to travel to for a few days now and my father was adamant that we do so especially since we’re all vaccinated. 

We’re putting Bali on hold for now and heading to Morocco next week, and it was an easy choice. All we needed was a confirmed hotel reservation. It feels good to know that we can travel again. Hopefully, this is going to be one great trip.”