Removal of Umrah fees: Saudi Hajj Ministry rejects rumours

WEB DESK : Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah have denied rumours that the ministry removed Umrah fees that were placed by the Kingdom on the second or additional Umrah visits, local media reported on Monday.

New amendments were introduced to visa fees in Saudi Arabia at the beginning of 1438, when the government announced that the fees are fully paid by the Saudi government for all first-time pilgrims coming for either Hajj or Umrah.

The first entry of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims will be free, but for the second and subsequent entries, they will be charged SR 2, 000. Usama Khan, from the Ministry of Hajj, Call and Guidance information center, confirmed to Arab News that no such information or announcement was made by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah that they removed the SR2,000 fee, and that whatever was published in the Pakistani media and on social media is false news or rumours.

Tahir Mahmood, chief executive of Global Hajj and Umrah Private Service Ltd from Pakistan also confirmed to Arab News that there has been no such instruction or announcement made by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah that the Umrah fees have been abolished.

On inquiry of the news published in the Pakistani media and spread on social media about the removal of Umrah fees, he said that it was not from an authentic source and was a rumour. However, the Pakistani public are requesting that the Kingdom and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman remove the extra charges, because a number of Pakistani families and people who want to come for Umrah would not be able to make it because of the fee.

“Many people from Pakistan will not be able to make their Umrah trip because they don’t have enough funds to pay this extra charges of SR2,000. It’s a request from the Pakistani people to the Kingdom to remove these charges so they can make their journey to perform Umrah,” he said. The Pakistan Umrah Agent Association urged people not to spread rumours on social media, since there has been no announcement made by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the removal of Umrah fees. -NNI