Umrah visas cross 1.3 million; over 1 million pilgrims arrive

Saturday, November 24, 2018

By Abdulaziz Ghazzawi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

MAKKAH — As many as 1,318,604 Umrah visas were issued since the current season started early Muharram (September), the Ministry of Haj and Umrah has announced.

The ministry said a total of 677,335 pilgrims arrived in the Kingdom and left after performing minor pilgrimage while 362,225 are in the country. They include 242,638 pilgrims staying in Makkah and 119,587 in Madinah.

According to the ministry, some 7,941 Saudi employees of the Haj and Umrah companies consisting of 6,702 men and 1,239 women, were serving the pilgrims from their arrival in the Kingdom until their departure home.

The ministry has launched a weekly Umrah indicator in September to provide periodic data on the number of Umrah visas issued, the number of the pilgrims who arrived in the Kingdom through air, land and sea inlets, their number in Makkah and Madinah and how many of them have left after performing the rituals.

According to the indicator, 956,359 pilgrims have arrived by air through King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, 83,166 by land and 35 by sea. The indicator said Pakistan, with 359,092 pilgrims, topped all other countries in the number of the Umrah pilgrims.

Indonesia, with 204,176 pilgrims, came second followed by India, which sent 178,893 pilgrims.

There were 48,087 pilgrims from Yemen, 37,854 from Malaysia, 24,104 from Turkey, 22,839 from Algeria, 22,315 from the United Arab Emirates, 19,675 from Bangladesh and 16,997 from the United Kingdom.

The ministry said its weekly indicator was aimed at further improving the services being extended to the pilgrims within the objectives of the Vision 2030.