Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah and Chairman of the Pilgrim Experience Program Dr. Tawfig Al Rabiah concluded an official visit to Pakistan and Bangladesh, where he met with the presidents of the countries and high-ranking government officials.
The purpose of the visit was to strengthen ties and discuss ways to cooperate and address challenges in order to improve the experience of Umrah performers and pilgrims from Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as raise awareness about the mega projects spearheaded by the Saudi Vision 2030.
The visits the minister is carrying out abroad highlight the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ great effort exerted to improve Hajj and Umrah organizations, infrastructure and services. These efforts, which are carried out to fulfill Vision 2030, attest to
Saudi Arabia’s longstanding role in serving Islam and Muslims around the world, as well as to the country’s unwavering commitment, pride and religious obligation to serve pilgrims, Umrah performers, and visitors traveling to the Kingdom.
During the minister’s visit agreements were signed between the civil aviation authorities of Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan and Bangladesh. The agreements aim to increase the frequency of flights from Pakistan and Bangladesh to Saudi Arabia, making it more convenient and accessible for Umrah seekers to travel and perform their spiritual journey.
The Saudi government’s flagship initiative Nusuk also held its first roadshow in Karachi and Dhaka to promote the integrated digital platform for Pakistani and Bangladeshi people planning to visit the Kingdom for spiritual and tourism purposes.
As part of the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to facilitate Umrah, the visa process has been streamlined, being issued within 24 hours, and e-visa services are available to individuals holding valid visas for the UK, US and Schengen, or residency in the US, UK, GCC or EU countries.
Travelers are also permitted to freely perform Umrah and explore the country’s diverse cultural heritage and natural wonders. Moreover, the duration of Umrah visas has been extended to 90 days. Bangladeshi and Pakistani citizens are eligible for the 96-hour Stopover visa, allowing them to include the Umrah in their itinerary.
Al-Rabiah underlined the deep and lasting ties between Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, emphasizing the need to take these relations to a higher level and expanding cooperation with these two countries.
He said Saudi Arabia is privileged to host pilgrims from all over the world and is committed to ensuring they conduct their spiritual journey is secure, convenient, and smooth.
He stressed the ongoing efforts to improve the overall pilgrimage experience, including the expansion of the Two Holy Mosques, the Haramain High-Speed Railway, and the recently overhauled King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah, which became a pivotal hub in the Islamic world, in addition to the restoration of historical mosques and cultural sites in Makkah and Madinah.
As the spiritual home of Islam, Saudi Arabia remains deeply committed to ensuring that pilgrims from all over the world, including from Pakistan and Bangladesh, have a hassle-free and memorable Umrah experience.
Through visionary planning, technological advancements and infrastructure development, Saudi Arabia has successfully boosted the accessibility, efficiency and comfort of the Hajj and Umrah journey for millions of pilgrims worldwide, said a statement by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.