Hajj pilgrims perform the Farewell Tawaf
Hajj pilgrims perform the farewell Tawaf. Image Credit: SPA/Twitter

Dubai: The Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah, has announced that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be welcoming 33,690 pilgrims from Iraq among the 2 million pilgrims expected to visit during the 2023 Hajj season, local media reported.

The announcement was made during a joint press conference with the Chairman of the Supreme Authority for Hajj and Umrah, Sami Al Masoudi, during Dr Al Rabiah’s official visit to Iraq.

During the visit, the minister highlighted the various facilities offered to pilgrims and Umrah performers, including a reduction in insurance costs, increased competition among service providers, and the development of the Jdeidet Arar port. He also discussed ways to further facilitate the arrival of Iraqi pilgrims in Mecca and Medina, including the recent introduction of a free transit visa for those travelling with Saudi carriers.

Dr. Al Rabiah emphasised the Kingdom’s commitment to providing top-quality services to all pilgrims, including Iraqis, with no restrictions on age, number, or procedural requirements. He noted the extended validity of Umrah visas from 30 to 90 days, the processing of religious and historical sites, and the unlimited support of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

The minister met with several Iraqi officials, including the President, the Speaker of Parliament, and officials from the transportation and aviation sectors. He stressed the importance of restoring pre-pandemic flight numbers between the two countries and discussed the necessary steps to provide the best possible services to pilgrims through the Doyof Al Rahman programme, one of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 initiatives.