JEDDAH — The Ministry of Haj and Umrah has started implementing the compulsory payment abroad by Umrah companies for Umrah services, in line with the established electronic system following coordination by the ministry with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), sources have confirmed to Okaz.
The ministry has stressed that no payment will be accepted from within the Kingdom. Observers have described this move as a bid to stop tampering and commit violations that used to take place earlier by agents overseas.
Meanwhile, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Haj and Umrah for Umrah Affairs Abdulaziz Abdulraheem Wazzan has confirmed that all Umrah companies have set out their operation plans for serving Umrah pilgrims, in line with the programs chosen by arriving Umrah performers from the services packages offered in the computer system.
He denied what is being circulated in the social media on the withdrawal of 200 companies out of 700 working in the Umrah field under the pretext of having incurred losses. He stressed that this is untrue.
He said that the groups of Umrah pilgrims have started arriving since last Muharram and their numbers will continue to increase gradually until the targeted number of 10 million Umrah pilgrims is achieved this season, which ends on Shawwal 15.
He said that Umrah pilgrims are arriving via King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah. Both airports have completed all preparations to receive Umrah pilgrims and for the government authorities to complete their procedures.
Meanwhile, the General Cars Syndicate has readied various kinds of vehicles aside from buses to transport Umrah performers, all according to the request of the Umrah pilgrim.