As per the new visa policy announced by Saudi Arabia, the Umrah pilgrims which include both Pakistan and Indian nationals are allowed to travel within Saudi Arabia to any city provided that they have a valid 30-day Umrah visa.
As per the new policy, pilgrims should spend at least fifteen days in Makkah and Madinah during their thirty days Umrah stay and then they could travel to other cities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as informed by the undersecretary of Hajj Ministry for Umrah Affairs—Abdulaziz Wazzan.
He further informed that more than a thousand pilgrims reached Saudi Arabia last week, while more than twenty-five thousand Umrah visas were granted in the span of last four days.
Earlier, Umrah pilgrims were only allowed to visit the holy places—Makkah and Madinah and there was no availability of visit visa for the rest of the Kingdom.
The decision to introduce the new visa policy is part of the extensive reforms named Vision 2030 which is drafted to reduce the ultra-conservative dependence of Saudi Arabia on oil along with a raise investment in tourism.
Saudi Arabia is of great importance in terms of religious affinity that all the Muslims share with the Holy House situated in Makkah. Every year thousands of pilgrims throughout the world travel to the holy land to perform the religious obligation of Hajj or Umrah.
Saudi Arabia has been managing the extensive crowd at the holy sites in an effective way. The decision to permit the Umrah pilgrims to travel to other cities too during their Umrah stay would for sure be giving a boost to the tourism sector and would effect on the Kingdom’s economy in a positive way.