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#7111 [Permalink] Posted on 25th August 2022 11:49
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#7112 [Permalink] Posted on 13th September 2022 17:47
Queen Elizabeth II: Saudi police arrest man after dedicating Umrah pilgrimage to late monarch

A Yemeni national has gone viral on social media after he posted a video clip of himself declaring that he performed Umrah in Mecca for the late queen

www.middleeasteye.net/news/queen-elizabeth-saudi-arabia-a...
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#7113 [Permalink] Posted on 13th September 2022 21:15
abu mohammed wrote:
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ajeeb

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#7114 [Permalink] Posted on 14th September 2022 19:19
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#7115 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2022 09:43
Umrah pilgrims offered high-speed train service between Makkah and Madinah



RIYADH: A high-speed train service makes it possible for pilgrims to travel between the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah in just two hours and 20 minutes.

The Haramain Express, which travels at a top speed of over 300 kph, is part of the Kingdom’s integrated transport network.

The train can accommodate over 400 business and economy class passengers, with tickets priced between SR40 and SR150 ($10.60-$40). The service also stops at Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City.

People from all over the world are permitted to perform Umrah during their stay in the Kingdom thanks to the visa scheme provided by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

Offering a trouble-free cultural and religious experience for Umrah pilgrims is in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.

Pilgrims wishing to visit Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah are advised to use the Maqam platform — maqam.gds.haj.gov.sa/ — where they can make all of the necessary travel arrangements and select from a package of services.

Family and personal visit visa holders can perform Umrah easily by booking an appointment through the Umrah app.

Umrah pilgrims are required to have comprehensive health insurance, including cover for the cost of treatment for COVID-19.

www.arabnews.com/node/2163571/saudi-arabia
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#7116 [Permalink] Posted on 20th September 2022 01:08
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#7117 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd September 2022 09:13
Saudi Arabia simplifies online Umrah visa procedures for foreign pilgrims
September 21, 2022


The Umrah pilgrims are able to plan their own itineraries electronically through approved Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and platforms. The validity of the visa is 90 days and the pilgrims are free to travel all across the Kingdom.



RIYADH — Saudi Arabia has made it easier for foreign pilgrims to choose Umrah packages through the electronic platform Maqam and complete the issuance of visa procedures within a short period of time. Pilgrims can quickly apply and get issued an Umrah visa from anywhere in the world.

The Umrah pilgrims are able to plan their own itineraries electronically through approved Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and platforms. The validity of the visa is 90 days and the pilgrims are free to travel all across the Kingdom.

A pilgrim from abroad can book Umrah services through the Maqam platform, obtain a visa, and book services electronically from all over the world through the platform within less than 24 hours, by entering the main page and clicking on the list of approved electronic platforms.

The Maqam platform essentially serves as a Global Distribution System (GDS), linking services, rates, and bookings as well as offering goods and services across various industries such as hotels, airlines, and car rentals. In the process, travel agents and OTAs rely on the Maqam portal to offer and promote their services to Umrah seekers worldwide.

For the issuance of a visa, the pilgrim shall visit the Maqam portal and select their desired travel agency. They need to sign up on the website of the travel agency of their choice and enter trip details, such as departure date and airport, numbers of nights in Makkah and Madinah and select the first stop from the two options- Makkah or Madinah.

For booking a hotel and flight, he can select one hotel of his choice in Makkah and Madinah, the transport package, and the flight ticket and input personal details. The pilgrim needs a passport-size photo and a passport with six-month validity. The pilgrim has to add a payment method by choosing to pay for an Umrah visa, flight ticket, and hotel with a credit or debit card, and submit an application. After finishing the application, the pilgrim can go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to complete the data and get the Umrah visa.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has provided easy electronic procedures to ensure the preservation of their rights and the provision of high-quality services, as part of its efforts to facilitate the procedures for the arrival of pilgrims from outside the Kingdom.

The Maqam platform services include knowing the local agents in the country of the pilgrims to issue the Umrah visa, which has a validity of 90 days since its issuance and allows pilgrims the freedom to move between Saudi cities to learn the cultural diversity of the Kingdom.

The services of the agent icon on the portal also include the ability to choose the travel path between Makkah, Jeddah, and Madinah, book airline tickets, book internal transportation services in the Kingdom, with the possibility of booking residential accommodation, and send a visa application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Upon completing the reservation of services through the authorized agent, the pilgrim receives a reference number to complete the payment process online and via credit cards (VISA), to issue the visa through the unified national visa platform within 24 hours.
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#7118 [Permalink] Posted on 27th September 2022 18:58
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#7119 [Permalink] Posted on 28th September 2022 10:42
abu mohammed wrote:
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We'll have to keep booking for umrah and rawdah slot.
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#7120 [Permalink] Posted on 28th September 2022 10:47
abu mohammed wrote:
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Majority of pilgrims are from non english and arabic speaking countries and are often tech illiterate. It's ridiculous they are subjected to these apps. Came across so many people who had no ideahow to book. They didn't have saudi simcard to register the app with. The app was crashing meaning they couldn't see their booking.

I also had a problem with my phone battery dying before my booked slot so had to rush to the hotel to get it charged enough to last an hour.
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#7121 [Permalink] Posted on 29th September 2022 09:11
Hajj, Umrah e-services app undergoes update, name change


arab.news/zwc8n

September 28, 2022

MAKKAH: Hajj and Umrah government officials have alerted pilgrims around the world about an important update and name change to a key services and permits app for the Two Holy Mosques.

Launching the newly named Nusuk app, an update on the Eatmarna platform, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said visitors and worshippers would be able to access a range of e-services including applying for a visa and booking hotels and flights.

Hajj and Umrah services adviser, Ahmed Saleh Halabi, told Arab News: “During the past few years, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has been keen to switch to the e-government system to add ease to the experience of pilgrims and visitors. As such, their experience will be forever remembered as an enriched religious journey.”

He pointed out that the portal allowed users to select from a list of service packages.

“The program will provide the pilgrims with a cultural and religious journey, while reflecting the bright and civilized side of the Kingdom in the Two Holy Mosques,” he added.

The platform has been designed to provide services and information to help worshippers perform rituals with ease and is part of the Saudi Vision 2030 objectives to improve service offerings and the quality of religious experience.

Ahmed Bajaiffer, an investor in Umrah companies, said: “Nusuk is the representation of the strong will of the Kingdom’s leaders and their loyalty toward Muslims, citizens, and residents.”

Nusuk has been launched in cooperation with the Saudi Tourism Authority and is linked to the services provided by the Kingdom’s official tourism website, Visit Saudi Arabia.

Head of the World Hajj and Umrah Convention, Mohsin Tutla, told Arab News: “What Nusuk has developed resonates with the World Hajj and Umrah Care Foundation’s vision toward enhancing the pilgrim’s experience.

“When traveling to a foreign country, visitors may often feel anxiety or even fear; for many, Arabic is not their first language, and trying to make sense of the cultural practices of a new country at times can be difficult.”

Via the nusuk.sa platform, Hajj and Umrah performers can receive visit or Umrah visas with the option to buy a service package and pay electronically.

“The launch of this service sends a strong message with it: We are listening, we are caring, and we will provide the solutions to continually enrich your experience, and we do it with passion, as the Kingdom sees serving pilgrims as a privilege and obligation,” Tutla added.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, more than 21.5 million Umrah and Hajj performers had registered with the Eatmarna app since its launch, and it has issued 6.4 million permits to visit and pray at Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifah at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
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#7122 [Permalink] Posted on 29th September 2022 10:11
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It's true that it's a total nuisance but were they checking your booking when you went? When I went, it was merely a formality. Not once did they ask me for the booking. Not for Umrah, not for Rawdah. Infact, I would have been happy if they were following it for Rawdah because that's where it's really difficult to not have to wait hours in the line. Yet when I was there it was pretty much the same as always. Waiting for a long time to get in and then further wait. If they had actually implemented the booking schedule, we could have been in and out in minutes. But the amount of people coming in has rendered all their preparations and even tech useless.
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#7123 [Permalink] Posted on 29th September 2022 15:48
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#7124 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd October 2022 14:23
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They weren't checking for umrah so you could wear ihram from your hotel room and perform tawaf on the ground floor of mataf as it's only open for people performing umrah. Not everyone knew they were not checking so i saw many approaching security guards to enquire about booking umrah but obviously they were encountering language problem.

For rawdah they were looking at your phone screen but not sure if they were fully checking date and time of booking. This is where i saw lot of confused souls.
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#7125 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd October 2022 14:28
Is it just me or anyone else on here also feel uncomfortable about how close men and women get in both haramains. Tawaf on ground floor mataf is a big challenge. Masjid e nabawi court yard is also a challenge.
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