Thursday, 4 December 2014

Umrah season for 1436 launched

His Highness the Minister of Hajj, Dr Bandar ibn Muhammad Hajjar, announced the launch of the 1436 umrah season on 27 November.

The umrah E-Track Program received the first group of the applications for umrah visas at the beginning of the month of Safar, in late November, and the first groups of mu`tamirs arrived a few days after.

This follows a successful e-track during the 1435 umrah season, during which KSA hosted a record 6,051,000 international mu`tamirs. The e-track was complemented by projects to increase the capacity of the Two Holy Mosques and pilgrim accommodations. 

The Ministry of Hajj also announced a bylaw on the regulation of services for mu`tamirs (umrah pilgrims). His Highness referred to a set of new rules which has been announced by the Ministry for the licensed companies inside and outside the Kingdom. These rules have been laid down in order to control the procedures for umrah, improve the level of the services, and preserve mu`tamir rights. 

Among these rules are those relevant to the issuance of visas, the service packages, the work of the external agents, the qualification and training of the human resources, surveillance systems, and the preparation of offices for companies. The rules will also control the mechanism of the evaluation of the licensed companies in the Kingdom and their agents in the mu`tamirs’ countries, as well as the mechanism of the arrival of the mu`tamirs who travel from the countries in which there are no external agents. 

His Highness also referred to the global electronic umrah network which has been established by the Ministry of Hajj in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to facilitate the umrah process for international mu`tamirs. The network provides a mechanism for umrah in countries where there are no contractors or external agents.

Read the blog post about the E-Track Program here.