Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that the number of Umrah pilgrims has reached 10 million since the country’s opening up for the lesser pilgrimage in October last year.
The current capacity of the Umrah pilgrimage amounted to 70,000 pilgrims per day, distributed over eight daily operational periods, the ministry said, adding it is coordinating with the relevant authorities to develop a strategic plan to increase the capacity until reaching 3.5 million pilgrims per month.
Saudi Arabia plans to increase the numbers of Umrah pilgrims to reach 120,000 per day from 60,000 at present.
The Kingdom started receiving Umrah applications from abroad for vaccinated pilgrims as of August 9. The Umrah or lesser pilgrimage can be undertaken at any time of the year.
Last October, Saudi Arabia set into motion a gradual plan for resuming Umrah trips after about seven months of suspension due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The Umrah permits issued by Saudi authorities cover praying inside the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, visiting the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in Medina and praying in Al Rawda Al Sharifa there.
The first phase of the Umrah resumption plan, which began on October 4 last year, allowed 6,000 pilgrims from inside the kingdom per day into the Grand Mosque.
The second went into effect on October 18, allowing about 40,000 worshippers and 10,000 pilgrims a day into the site.