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Saudi Arabia hosts over 6.9 million pilgrims for Umrah


Muslim pilgrims gather at dawn before heading to the symbolic stoning of the devil at the Jamarat Bridge in Mina, near Mecca. / AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, has declared that over 6,964,943 pilgrims have arrived the holy land for the Umrah exercise.The Ministry’s Umrah weekly indicator showed that the number of pilgrims still in the Kingdom was 925,246 pilgrims, with 679,929 pilgrims in Makkah and 245,317 in Madinah, and 6,039,697 pilgrims leaving Saudi Arabia after completing Umrah.

According to the indicator, about 7,463,259 visas have been issued to Umrah pilgrims until 18 Ramadan 1440 H (May 23, 2019).The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 10,852 Saudis including 8,978 males and 1,874 females.

Most pilgrims, according to the indicator, arrived in the Kingdom via air with a total of 6,185,504 pilgrims while 671,356 entered by land entry point and 108,083 pilgrims arrived via seaports.

According to the Ministry, the highest number of pilgrims of various nationalities, entering the Kingdom are 1,530,855 Pakistanis, 934,827 Indonesians, 635,675 Indians, 524,728 Egyptians, 353,425 Algerians, 323,083 Yemenis, 300,517 Turkish, 269,554 Malaysians, 268,179 Iraqis, and 194,908 Jordanians.

This initiative is one of the main aims of Saudi Vision 2030, which aspires to attract over 30 million Umrah pilgrims and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabia has officially launched the “Enriching Hajj & Umrah Experience” programme, under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, and with the follow-up of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

With the ambitious objective of reaching 30 million Umrah visitors annually by 2030, the programme’s mission is to achieve a quantum leap in every service provided to visitors of Saudi Arabia, whether coming for Hajj, Umrah, or simply to experience the unparalleled Islamic and national heritage in the Kingdom. The programme’s strategy is to provide “Spiritual fulfilment and memorable experience, at the fingertips of all Muslims globally”.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia takes its responsibility of hosting the two holiest sites for all Muslims with the utmost care and devotion. Everyone in the Kingdom considers it an honour to serve our visitors,” said Dr Muhammad Saleh Bin Taher Benten, Chairman of the programme’s committee.

“With this huge responsibility, during the strategy planning phase, we left no stone unturned to gain an in-depth understanding of all our current challenges,” Dr Benten said. “This included field investigations of more than 192 touchpoints for our visitors, capacity modelling for the urban infrastructure, and the largest primary customer survey done in this sector, reaching out in-person to more than 20,000 people in 135 cities in more than 20 countries around the world to understand their needs, wants, and current challenges in visiting the Kingdom.”


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