Dubai: Expatriate residents in Saudi Arabia have been banned from entry to the holy city of Mecca without a permit, state-run press agency SPA has announced.
The ban, which came into force on on May 26, will continue until the end of the Haj season 2022. Those who are exempt from the ban include the holders of Umrah and Haj permits, and those who have an entry permit to work in the city and expatriates who have a resident identity card (Iqama) issued from Mecca.
The ban enforced every year at entry points to the holy city, applies to all modes of transport including cars, buses and trucks. However, those who are exempt from the ban must obtain travel permits from the competent authorities.
Brigadier Sami Mohammed Al Shuwairekh, the Public Security spokesperson, said the move is in line with guidelines aiming at regulating the Haj pilgrimage.