Due to COVID-19, it has been nine months since Umrah services are suspended however, it has now been announced that the suspension will be lifted in three phases. The Saudi government will ensure that the reopening of Umrah Services will be in accordance with the COVID-19 safety protocols as the public health will be the first priority.

Muhammad Saleh Benten, Minister of Hajj and Umrah said that the suspension of Umrah services will be gradually lifted in phases and Muslims around the world will be able to visit two holy mosques.

He also said that having kept in mind the restoration of Umrah services, we must also prioritize the health and safety of the public. In order to do so, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has made a plan to restore the services in three phases.

In the first phase, Saudi nationals will be allowed to perform Umrah however, they will not be able to utilize all of the services. In the first phase, 40 percent capacity will be allowed to utilize while in the second, 75% capacity will be utilized. In the third phase, the capacity will be fully utilized and people from around the world will be able to perform Umrah.

Muhammed Saleh said during all the phases it will be ensured that the latest technology and technical solutions will be incorporated to enhance the services. This will also help the Umrah companies to provide better services.

One such advancement is to provide Umrah services through electronic platforms, with that they can also perform necessary follow-ups. At the start, 30 local and international companies will be offering this service.

Minister Benten highlighted the significance of early registration for Umrah for the pilgrims, this must be done so that the Umrah companies can identify and address the needs of the pilgrims. He also informed that the ministry is going to launch an app for tracking the number of registrations. It would then be easy for the pilgrims to book their visit through the app.

More than 16 million pilgrims from all over the world utilize Umrah services through Umrah service companies. However, the King of Saudia aims to increase this number to 30 million, Minister Benten concluded.