According to the interior ministry of Saudi Arabia, the country will resume the year-round Umrah pilgrimage from October 4.
However, the full resumption will take place gradually, step-by-step, said the Saudi government.
In the first stage, only 6,000 citizens and residents will be allowed to perform the umrah per day, and that too only from within the Kingdom, as per the official Saudi Press Agency‘s announcement.
And for the visitors from the outside of the country, Saudi will allow them to perform the Umrah from November 1, when umrah’s capacity will be raised to 20,000 pilgrims per day, the official ministry statement said.
The umrah, which refers to the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be done at any time of the year, attracts millions of Muslims from all over the world every year.
The ministry said Umrah would be allowed to resume full capacity once the pandemic threat is over.
Saudi Arabia’s custody of Mecca and Medina – two of the most sacred sites – is seen as the kingdom’s most powerful source of political legitimacy.
The holy sites, which attract millions of pilgrims each year, are a major source of income for Saudi Arabia.
Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Vision 2030 reform plan aims to decouple the kingdom’s economy – the world’s largest crude oil exporter – from its dependence on oil for other sources of income, including religious tourism.
The government hopes to welcome 30 million pilgrims to the kingdom annually by 2030.
No need to mention, but still, the pilgrimage was suspended for seven months because of the coronavirus pandemic.