Dubai: The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has issued new guidelines for pilgrims wishing to perform Umrah during Ramadan.
The ministry retreated recently that pilgrims are no longer allowed to repeat Umrah and can only perform it once during the holy month. This move is to ensure that all pilgrims who wish to perform Umrah during Ramadan have the opportunity to do so with ease and comfort.
The Ministry emphasised the importance of obtaining a permit from the Nusuk app to perform Umrah and adhering to the specified time. Pilgrims can delete their appointment via the app before entering the permit time and can issue a new permit if they wish to change the date. However, there is no feature to amend the Umrah date.
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‘Nusuk Hajj’ platform
The Ministry said that Umrah permits are available for Saudi citizens, residents, and foreigners with an active visa. Interested individuals are urged to obtain their permits early through Nusuk app and follow the specified date to perform their Umrah. The Nusuk app can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play.
Furthermore, those coming from abroad must ensure that they do not have COVID-19 or have been in contact with an infected person, as the ministry is taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of Umrah pilgrims.
Pilgrims must respect holy places' sanctity
Authorities have urged worshippers at Islam’s holiest sites to observe “manners” of filming and taking photos as the two places are drawing hundreds of thousands of Muslims during the month of Ramadan.
The exhortation was made by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the proper behaviour while taking photos at the Grand Mosque, which houses the Holy Kaaba in Makkah, and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.
“Sanctity of the place at the two holy mosques should be observed. We have to heed manners of photo-taking and safeguard other people’s rights,” the ministry said on Twitter.
The ministry pointed out that these manners include not to show others in filming and photos without permission, avoid getting distracted from worshipping by filming or snapping photos, or causing crowding by stopping to capture images.
Millions of Muslims flock to Saudi
Ramadan, which began on Thursday, usually marks the peak season of Umrah or minor pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque.
Millions of Muslims from around the globe flock to the holy places in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Ramadan, for worshipping and undertaking Umrah.
The kingdom expects the number of Umrah pilgrims since the onset of the season last July will reach 9 million by the end of Ramadan.
Saudi Arabia has in recent months unveiled a slew of facilities for Muslims wishing to come to the country to perform Umrah.
They include allowing GCC residents to apply for a tourist visa to Saudi Arabia, regardless of their profession. The visa holder can also perform Umrah.
This eVisa also permits holders to perform Umrah, and both single and multiple entry options are available. GCC residents with valid residency documents for at least three months and passports for at least six months are eligible to apply. The visa fee is $80 (300 SAR), in addition to the cost of health insurance.