Yes, noticed that too. No attempts are being made to ensure separation either. It's like everyone involved has resigned themselves to the fact that it would be impossible to maintain any order given the number of people that now turn up.
MAKKAH — The Umrah visa has been extended from one to three months for all Umrah performers of all nationalities, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said.
He made this announcement during his two-day official visit to Tashkent where the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev received the Saudi minister at the conclusion of the Dr. Al-Rabiah's visit.
The minister conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman to President Mirziyoyev and the Uzbek government and people and their wishes of further growth for Uzbekistan.
They wished prosperity to Uzbekistan in light of the ongoing reforms that the republic is witnessing, stressing that the visit is an extension of distinguished historical relations between the two countries and resulted in several cooperation agreements in various fields.
The accords were primarily in the Hajj and Umrah, which reflects the great efforts of the leadership in serving Islam and Muslims and facilitating procedures for pilgrims and Umrah performers.
The minister added that the recent Hajj season saw the participation of some 12,000 Uzbek pilgrims after authorities increased the numbers of pilgrims following the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that more than 36,000 people from Uzbekistan have performed Umrah during the last two months, the majority of whom managed to visit Madinah and pray at Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifah and visited religious and historical sites in Madinah.
Al-Rabiah’s visit witnessed holding of several meetings with various officials to discuss means of enhancing cooperation in various fields and developing distinguished ties between the two countries.
The discussions mainly revolved around the automating of all services and programs that are now offered electronically through Nusuk platform and issuing visit and Umrah visas quickly.
The minister met with several Uzbek officials as part of boosting cooperation between the two countries in various fields and stressing the deep-rooted bilateral relations.
Talks during the visit also reviewed means to enhance strategic bilateral cooperation between the two sides to enhance the quality of services provided to Uzbek Umrah performers.
This is in addition to going over the possibility of increasing the activities of joint committees in several aspects, including increasing the number of flights between the two countries. — SPA
Umrah companies obligated to issue permits for its pilgrims October 03, 2022
Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that all Umrah companies and institutions are obligated to issue permits for its pilgrims seeking to perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque and also permits for its worshipers who want to pray at the Rawdah Sharif at the Prophet's Mosque.
The ministry said that Umrah companies and institutions are also required to delegate its pilgrims to the Grand Mosque in Makkah according to the approved times in their permits. This procedure includes those who are wishing to repeat Umrah during their stay in Makkah.
The ministry confirmed the importance of Umrah companies and institutions to abide by offering integrated and comprehensive services to pilgrims, in order to raise and evolve the services' quality in the sector and also to facilitate the journey for them.
It has also confirmed that it is following up through its continuing monitoring tours and its intensive automated monitoring the services' quality and the companies' commitment to fulfilling their duties.
The Ministry confirmed that it has directed the field teams in the sorting centers, which is located alongside the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque, to monitor any field violation and to take all the legal deterrent measures against the violators, in order to strengthen the services' quality
Times for women visiting Rawdah Sharif divided into two periods
MADINAH — The Agency for Women's Grouping and Crowd Management of the Agency of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Prophet's Mosque has announced the times of the women's visit to Rawdah Sharif during the days of the week.
The agency indicated that women could visit the Rawdah Sharif at the Prophet’s Mosque during the days, in two periods, morning and evening.
The morning period will be from 6:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. While the evening period, it stated, will be from 9:30 p.m. until 12:00 a.m.
On Fridays, the agency said, that the morning period will be from 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m., while the evening period will be the same as the weekdays, from 9:30 p.m. until 12:00 a.m.
Hajj minister: Mahram no longer required to accompany woman pilgrim & Grand Mosque expansion costs over SR200 billion October 10, 2022
Saudi Gazette report
CAIRO — Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah announced that mahram (blood relative) is no longer required to accompany a woman pilgrim, who wishes to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj or Umrah from any part of the world.
The minister brought to an end the lingering controversy about whether a mahram is required to accompany a woman pilgrim or not during a press conference at the Saudi Embassy in Cairo on Monday.
The minister said that the costs for the expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah have exceeded SR200 billion and that the largest-ever expansion in the history of the holy mosque is continuing.
Al-Rabiah said that there is no quota or ceiling for the number of Umrah visas to be issued for Muslims from all over the world. “Any Muslim coming to the Kingdom with any type of visa can perform Umrah,” he said.
Al-Rabiah affirmed Saudi Arabia’s keenness on reducing the costs of performing Hajj and Umrah, saying that the matter is related to a number of factors. The minister also referred to the efforts made by the Kingdom during the recent period regarding the introduction and use of modern technologies and digitization of the services provided by the ministry to those who wish to visit the Two Holy Mosques.
“These included using robots to provide some services to the pilgrims, as well as developing the Nusk platform, which makes available many facilities for the pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Mosque. It is possible to book an Umrah permit through the platform within a short period of time, and after that, the visa can be obtained within 24 hours,” he added.
'Hayya' card holders can perform Umrah and visit Madinah
Muslim holders of fan tickets (Hayya card) of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, are allowed to perform Umrah and visit Madinah, Khaled Al-Shammari, assistant director general of the general department of visas at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed.
During an interview with Al-Ekhbariya, Al-Shammari said that the multiple visa of Hayya card holders is free, but it is mandatory to obtain medical insurance from the visa platform.
The visa will be valid to enter Saudi Arabia 10 days before the start of the World Cup, which start from Nov. 11, until the final day on Dec. 18, 2022, Al-Shammari confirmed.
He also added that the residence period for the visa holder would last for two months.
The visa will be for several trips, and its holder can enter and exit Saudi Arabia at any time during its validity period, and it is not required that the visa holder has entered from Qatar.
The Cabinet approved earlier the state to incur the costs of e-services — related to the e-visas service platform at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs — for issuing an entry visa to Saudi Arabia for holders of fan tickets (Hayya card) of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
A Hayya card (fan ID) is a personalized document that is issued and required by every single person attending any of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 matches.
Male guardian no longer needed to accompany females
Pakistani pilgrim numbers increase by 30%
ISLAMABAD: All her life, Ayesha Gul hoped that one day she would be standing in Islam’s holiest site in Makkah. The dream came true this month when Saudi Arabia relaxed visa rules for pilgrimage.
In mid-October, Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah announced that women no longer needed a male guardian, or mahram, to visit the Kingdom to perform Hajj or Umrah.
Gul, who lives in Rawalpindi, a city adjacent to the Pakistani capital Islamabad, traveled soon after the announcement.
“It was my dream to visit the home of Allah and I still cannot believe that my dream came true, and I am actually sitting in front of Haram,” she told Arab News from Makkah.
“There is no gender discrimination and Saudis are treating women as equally as men.”
Under the new rules, visas have been extended to three months and pilgrims can travel to other areas of the Kingdom.
“All these measures speak volumes about the help being extended by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for pilgrims across the globe,” said Hamzah Gilani, a spokesperson for the Pakistani consulate in Jeddah.
According to Saudi authorities, about 1.27 million pilgrims have visited Saudi Arabia since Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar which began on July 30. About 200,000 came from Pakistan, the second highest number after Indonesia.
“We have a long season ahead,” Travel Agents’ Association of Pakistan President Nadeem Zaka told Arab News. “More people will travel after getting information about the visa relaxation.”
The number has already increased by an estimated 30 percent, according to Faizan Akhtar, a member of Pakistan’s Umrah Travel Agents’ Association.
“We used to send one or two groups of four to six people every week which has now increased to three to four groups of about six individuals, despite increased air fares due to the dollar rate,” he said.
“We have also sent many women independently to perform Umrah since the Saudi authorities have allowed them to travel without a male member of the family.”
The relaxation of where pilgrims can travel has also helped Pakistani men.
Ahsan Khan, from Mardan, said he performed Umrah on Oct. 15 and was planning to visit his cousin in Dammam, something he would not have been able to do under the old system.
“Now we can perform Umrah and also meet our relatives in the Kingdom,” he said. “It is a great step by the Saudi government.”
MAKKAH — The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has revealed 4 cases which can be covered by the Umrah Insurance Policy for those coming from abroad, with a benefit of up to SR100,000.
It stated the cases are: emergency cases of COVID-19, emergency health cases, general accidents and deaths, in addition to cancelation or delay of departing flights.
The ministry clarified that the Umrah insurance policy is mandatory for pilgrims coming from outside Saudi Arabia, stressing that it is included in the visa fee, as it provides its holder with comprehensive coverage.
We see men in ihraam are near Kabatullah. Are the restrictions continuing. Whether permit is required to enter mataf.
And also whether, Covid vaccination certificate is mandatory.
Can some one please help me. Our relatives are visiting Haram for umrah shortly.
Can we get the latest restrictions / permissions / booking procedures in haramain.
Like... entry restricted in mataaf for people in ihraam
procedure for offering salaam in front of raudah
procedure to get slot for stay in riyaaz un jannah.
Can the zayar visit Taif, badar, hudaibiyah etc.
Jazkallahu khair for all the help.
You can select where you are travelling from so the details will appear there accordingly InshaAllah.
Many times, the rules have said one thing whilst others have experienced the complete opposite. So I guess, those who have been recently would rather you contact the booking agent for all the details instead of unintentionally misleading you.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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