As part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goal to increase the number of tourists, measures have been implemented to facilitate this. Considering the fact that the bulk of these numbers will come from religious tourism, The Ministry of Haj and Umrah has established a special platform that will be extensively used for issuing Umrah visas electronically.
Abdulaziz Wazzan, the ministry’s undersecretary for the affairs of the Umrah, said that “People coming for Umrah will not have to go to Saudi embassies or consulates as they can have their visas issued electronically in less than 24 hours.”
Mr Amr Al-Maddah, chief planning and strategy officer at the ministry mentioned that “The central reservation platform is a reservation engine that serves as a link. It connects all Umrah service providers including housing, Umrah, reception, transport, experience enrichment and cultural trips associated with online booking platforms like Agoda, Booking, Musafir and others.”
Mr Al-Maddad also added, “This way, the ministry ensures that all services are available to pilgrims inside and outside the kingdom through the internet and reliable websites, which pilgrims are accustomed to using when making their bookings. The ministry will ensure that all offers adhere to the set standards and regulatory requirements.”
Any pilgrim seeking to obtain an Umrah visa will be quoted a reference number when purchasing a package from an online platform. This will then allow them to obtain an e-visa.