Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has said it has set up a new website to receive applications from Qataris wishing to perform Umra (lesser pilgrimage) after their government had blocked a similar site amid a diplomatic dispute between the two Gulf countries.

The Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umra said in a statement it has designated the link: https://qtumra.haj.gov.sa for the Qataris to register their information for making the Umra journeys.

“The designation of the new website comes after Qatari authorities had blocked the previous site,” the ministry added, according to the official Saudi news agency SPA.

The ministry renewed the Saudi government’s interest in facilitating procedures for all pilgrims to arrive in Saudi Arabia and “removing all obstacles that may face them for performing this ritual”.

The Umrah journeys to holy sites in Saudi Arabia peak in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started more than a week ago.

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and transportation links with Qatar over its support for extremist groups.

Qatar has repeatedly claimed that the Arab quartet have violated its nationals’ travel rights, an allegation that the four countries have dismissed as false.