Umrah mecca saudi
Worshippers performing the Umrah pilgrimage walk between the Marwa and Safa hills at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Image Credit: AFP file

Dubai: The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has stressed that permanent residents of the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States can perform Umrah without the need for obtaining a visa in advance.

According to the ministry, the move is aimed at simplifying the Umrah pilgrimage process, ensuring high-quality services and enhancing the cultural and religious experience for pilgrims, in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

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The ministry highlighted that eligible Umrah performers can now easily schedule their pilgrimage through the Nusk app, or even opt to perform Umrah directly upon arrival.

Furthermore, the Kingdom has extended the ease of access to include visa-on-arrival options for residents of these regions, whether they intend to undertake Umrah or visit for tourism purposes. This also applies to first-degree relatives of the visa holder.

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Additionally, the option to perform Umrah is available through a transit visa, provided the travel is via a Saudi airline, further enhancing the accessibility for international Muslims to partake in this significant religious observance.

Umrah, often referred to as the “lesser pilgrimage” in contrast to Hajj, the “greater pilgrimage,” is a significant Islamic ritual that can be undertaken at any time of the year. Unlike Hajj, which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar, Umrah is a voluntary pilgrimage to Mecca, that Muslims can perform to earn spiritual rewards and closeness to Allah.