Thai Umrah pilgrims arrive at the King Abdulaziz airport in Jeddah.
Umrah pilgrims being welcomed at the King Abdulaziz airport in Jeddah. Image Credit: Okaz

Cairo: Saudi Arabia has defined four major fields for volunteering to serve Muslims performing Umrah or minor pilgrimage, and Hajj.

They are related to welcome and farewell, interpretation and guidance, on-site and healthcare services, a Saudi official has said.

Saudi Arabia aims to raise the number of volunteers to 1 million by 2030, the kingdom’s Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Abdulfattah Mashat said in the Saudi holy city of Medina.

“This is easy to fulfil before the year 2030 through adopting good governance for charity work, and devising programmes for varied volunteering activities as well as providing incentives for volunteering,” he added.

Saud Arabia has recently launched an electronic platform, designed to facilitate access to umrah services including visits to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

The platform enables Muslims wishing to undertake umrah or visiting the holy sites to obtain the necessary visas and permits as well as to book related packageselectronically.

In yet a new facilitating step, Saudi Arabia last week said its citizens can apply for visas inviting their friends abroad to visit the kingdom and undertake Umrah.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said citizens can apply for the personal visit visa via its e-visa platform, allowing the holder to perform Umrah and move across the kingdom including the religious and historical sites.