Umrah pilgrims
A group of Umrah pilgrims in the Grand Mosque. Image Credit: Saudi news agency SPA file

Cairo: A recently-launched Saudi electronic platform, designed to facilitate access to Umrah services, targets domestic and overseas pilgrims alike, a Saudi government official has said.

Saudi Arabia last week launched a unified government platform to facilitate procedures for Umrah pilgrims and visitors of the holy cities Mecca and Medinah.

The platform enables Muslims wishing to undertake the lesser pilgrimage (Umrah) or visiting the holy sites to obtain the necessary visas and permits as well as to book related packages electronically.

“Nusuk is an electronically integrated platform directed to guests of Allah inside and outside the kingdom,” Saudi Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Abdulfattah Al Mashat said.

“It is the first of its kind at the national level,” he told Saudiah TV.

“The platform marks a qualitative transfer for all services provided by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, or other sectors for pilgrims,” he added.

“The platform facilitates arrival at Mecca and Medinah as well as obtaining a visa for umrah or for visit,” Al Mashat said.

Last week, Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al Rabiah said the new platform is part of the kingdom’s efforts to improve quality of services offered to pilgrims by utilising the most up-to-date technologies to facilitate procedures and “enable umrah pilgrims and visitors to perform their rites comfortably”.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia has introduced a set of facilities for umrah rituals undertaken around the year except during the annual Hajj season.