A government proposal to extend the Umrah season from the current eight months to 10 is being considered, local media said quoting informed sources.
The proposal, according to which Moharram and Shawwal would be included in the Umrah season, comes in the context of having a new vision for Makkah and Madinah, the sources said.
Umrah visas currently cover the period between Safar and the end of Ramadan.
The proposal is also in line with the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to raise the number of Umrah pilgrims from 8 million to 30 million by 2030.
The vision is meant to enrich the pilgrims’ religious and cultural journey in the Kingdom through the construction and expansion of museums and historic and cultural sites.
According to the vision, the biggest Islamic museum in the world will be established. It will collect, store, display and document items aimed to acquaint visitors with the rich Islamic history.
Meanwhile, the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) organized a workshop to discuss a detailed road map for sustainable growth in all business sectors in Makkah through Haj and Umrah.
MCCI Chairman Mahir Jamal said the next period will witness the completion of mega projects in Makkah, to keep up with the growth of Muslims in the world. Muslims number about 1.62 billionworldwide, representing 23 percent of the global population.
“This prompted our wise leadership to envisage an expected increase in the number of pilgrims performing Haj and Umrah from 8 million to 30 million by 2030,” he said.
The National Transformation Program 2020 has also put forth strategic goals for the Ministry of Haj and Umrah, aimed at facilitating the journey for Haj and Umrah pilgrims, he said.[Source: Arab News]