Over 13.5 performed Umrah in 2023 —Report
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is taking measures to further ease access to the holiest site, Kaaba, just as a Saudi agency in charge of Islam’s two holiest sites has signed an agreement to look into dividing the Grand Mosque into coded zones to facilitate worshippers’ access to the sprawling place.
The General Authority for Care of the Two Holy Mosques signed the pact with the Saudi Postal and Logistics Company on the sidelines of a conference on services related to Islamic Hajj pilgrimage.
The accord aims to study the division of the Grand Mosque, Islam’s most sacred site, and its outer yards into coded zones to help specify exactly geographical locations and give easy guidance to worshippers and workers across the place.
The agreement will, moreover, help gauge performance, and distribution of working personnel based on the accommodation and operational capacity, thus ensuring the highest standards of services provided across the mosque.
The Grand Mosque in Makkah, Holy Kaaba, draws millions of Muslims annually from around the world to offer prayers and perform Umrah.
The numbers of Umrah pilgrims reached record 13.5 million last year, Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al Rabiah said earlier this week.
Saudi Arabia, Islam’s birthplace, has in recent months unveiled a host of facilities for Muslims wishing to come to the country for Umrah.
Visa holders are allowed to enter the kingdom via all land, air and sea outlets.
In yet a new facilitating step, Saudi Arabia has allowed its citizens to apply for inviting their friends abroad to visit the kingdom and undertake Umrah.
Women pilgrims are no longer required to be escorted by male guardians.
The kingdom has also said that expatriates residing in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are eligible to apply for a tourist visa, regardless of their profession, and be able to perform Umrah.
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