JEDDAH – The 1440 Umrah season, beginning in Muharram, will see the entry of new Saudi companies in the field, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Haj and Umrah for Umrah Affairs Dr. Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Wazzan told Okaz/Saudi Gazette Saturday.
Licenses have been granted to some 685 companies and establishments. Investment opportunities in the hotel sector will increase by over SR100 million. This will create over 15,000 job opportunities for Saudi young men and women, he said.
Asked about the number of new companies that are scheduled to enter the Umrah sector this season and whether they have completed their licensing procedures, Wazzan said: “The ministry’s endeavor to convert the Haj and Umrah work into an industry to make it one of the major tributaries of the new Saudi economy, is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to host 30 million Umrah pilgrims throughout the coming years. The ministry has completed procedures for licensing some 685 Saudi Umrah companies and establishments.”
In reply to a question on the number of expected Umrah pilgrims in the new 1440 season, he said: “The ministry’s target for 1440 is to receive 8.5 million Umrah pilgrims. It is working continuously and in coordination with all the concerned sectors and its partners in Umrah services in readying all the necessary resources and potentials to serve Umrah pilgrims. The ministry is in the process of developing the electronic portal for Umrah through which all Umrah procedures are completed electronically. This will enhance transparency and cut down the time for completing procedures and raise the standard of services by achieving integration among all the authorities participating in providing Umrah services.”