RIYADH, 7 September – The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed on Tuesday that residents from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries who obtained a visit visa for the purpose of tourism can get issued permits for performing Umrah and visiting the Rawdah Sharif at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah through the Eatmarna application.
The ministry stated that this comes within the framework of the efforts exerted to facilitate the arrival of pilgrims from all over the world, as well as to enrich their experiences, and raise the quality of services provided to them so as to realize the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030.
The ministry said that those who obtained a visit visa for the purpose of tourism from the residents of the GCC countries, as well as those who obtained visas to enter the Schengen countries, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom, can book appointments to perform Umrah and visit the Rawdah Sharif through the Eatmarna application. They can do the booking before their arrival to Saudi Arabia.
It is worthy to note that the Umrah season for the current Hijri year 1444 witnessed several major features in terms of simplifying procedures to perform Umrah by those who arrived in the Kingdom. These include the facility to perform Umrah for holders of several types of visas, including holders of family visit visas issued in the name of expatriates in the Kingdom; personal visit visas issued for Saudis; electronic tourist visas, tourist visas on arrival for holders of Schengen, US and UK visas and other types of visas.
The Umrah pilgrims, who come from outside Saudi Arabia, can choose the package of services through the maqam platform under the link: https://maqam.gds.haj.gov.sa/, in addition to booking through local agencies approved in the country of the pilgrim.
The ministry revealed recently that holders of a GCC residency permit can enter the Kingdom on an e-tourist visa, provided that the residency permit must be valid for at least three months. This also applies to first-class visa holder’s relatives arriving with him and domestic workers arriving with their sponsors.
The ministry also announced new regulations that allow residents of the GCC countries to apply for e-visa and residents of the UK, US and the EU to apply for visa on arrival. Holders of a valid tourist or business visa from the UK, the US or one of the Schengen visa countries can continue to obtain visa on arrival, provided that the applicant has visited at least once the country that has granted the visa. — Saudi Gazette