Saudi Arabia Revises Visa Regulations, Decides To Increase Dedicated Flights To India

The step is aimed to enable more Indians to perform ‘Umrah’ outside the month of Ramzan.

Saudi Arabias Crown Princes ceremonial reception

Saudi Arabia has revised visa regulations and increased dedicated flights to India so that more Indians can perform “Umrah”.

Umrah is the pilgrimage to Makkah done by Muslims outside the month of Ramzan.

Saudi Hajj and Umrah minister Tawfig Bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah has made the announcement, HT reported.

With 1.37 million Indian Muslims expected to perform Umrah in 2024, up from 1.2 million in 2023, the report quoting Al-Rabiah said that “Indians no longer require a specific visa for Umrah and can perform the pilgrimage with work or tourism visas.”

He, as per the report, also lauded the role of Indian expatriates in the economic and cultural enrichment of Saudi Arabia.

Al-Rabiah report said stated: “During my time in India, I will have the opportunity to witness the inauguration of the “Nusuk” platform exhibition to showcase advancements in electronic services tailored for pilgrims. The platform’s primary objective is to elevate the Umrah experience, offering a range of digital services and resources designed to enhance the spiritual journey of visitors to the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Medinah.”

“Nusuk also seeks to introduce pilgrims to historical and Islamic landmarks in these sacred cities, emphasising their visit’s cultural and spiritual significance. The event will showcase a collective effort to maximise the impact of the pilgrimage, providing innovative tools and services to support Umrah performers throughout their journey,” he was quoted as having said.

“To accommodate a larger number of Umrah pilgrims, agreements have been brokered to augment the number of dedicated flights catering to pilgrims from India. This expansion encompasses the introduction of direct flights from multiple Indian airports to Jeddah and Madinah, facilitating seamless travel,” he said.