201008 Umrah
Pilgrims practice social distancing while praying around the Kaaba. Image Credit: Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah.

Dubai: More than 6,000 Umrah visas have been issued in Saudi Arabia in three days, Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced.

In a statement issued yesterday, the ministry said that it has recorded a remarkable growth in the number of Umrah visas requests with the launch of the new Umrah season of 1444 (Hijri).

The ministry added it has issued more than 20,000 visas during the two weeks, since the registration was opened two weeks ago on July 14.

The first batch of pilgrims from abroad arrived in Mecca to perform the Umrah pilgrimage on Saturday, July 30, marking the beginning of the new Umrah season.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques received the pilgrims from abroad in the midst of an integrated system of services. It has prepared for them the entire Grand Mosque in Makkah and its courtyards to perform their rituals in ease and comfort.

During the last season of the year 1443, more than 70 million permits were issued to perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque in Mecca and pray at Rawdah Sharif in Medina.

During an interview with Al Ekhbarya, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Hisham Saeed said that the Umrah season during the current year 1444 is expected to witness a normal return in the number of pilgrims, after the positive change in health indicators and the removal and easing of many health restrictions that existed during the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.