Umrah Grand mosque Saudi Arabia
In this file photo taken on June 14, 2018 worshippers gather at the Grand Mosque in Islam's holiest city of Mecca as Muslims perform the Umrah. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Saudi Arabia has mounted official tours in central Asia to promote a new electronic platform offering facilities for pilgrims to perform umrah and visit the Islamic holy sites in the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina.

The kingdom has staged two exhibitions about the Nusuk platform in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan as part of a trip of a Saudi delegation led by Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al Rabeah.

The trip aimed to highlight the facilities offered by Saudi Arabia to pilgrims from around the world to come and undertake umrah rituals comfortably.

During the visit, a number of agreements were signed to facilitate pilgrims’ arrival in Mecca and Medina through developing air routes between Saudi Arabia and these countries as part of efforts to upgrade services made available to pilgrims.

Saudi Arabia recently launched a unified government platform to facilitate measures for umrah pilgrims and visitors of Mecca and Medina.

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

“The launch of Nusuk is one of major developments since the issuance of the e-visa in Saudi Arabia in 2019,” the platform Supervisor-General Fahd bin Mohammed said.

“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 in a TV interview last week.

“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 Medina as well as obtaining a visa for umrah or for visit,” Al Mashat said.

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