Saudi sets 15-day limit for Umrah
Riyadh, July 6, 2013
Saudi Arabia has imposed a 15-day limit for those performing Umrah owing to the massive expansion work going on at Makkah’s Grand Mosque, sai a report citing local officials.
The decision was attributed to the large numbers of crowds keen on spending more time in the two sacred cities of Makkah and Medina even though space has been heavily restricted by the ongoing massive work, reported the Gulf News.
“We have drafted a set of regulations for the companies overseeing the religious rituals,” the pilgrimage and Umrah ministry officials were quoted as saying in the report. “With the large expansion work, we need to keep the number of people at a specific level to avoid unbearable overcrowding,” they added.
More than 300 teams have been formed by the ministry to interact with the 48 umrah operators to ensure smooth operations.
In another development, the Saudi government has extended the date for Umrah applications to July 18.
Minister of Haj Bandar Hajjar told Arab News that the purpose of the extension was to allow more visitors to perform Umrah.
“We extended the period for Umrah visa applications, which was supposed to end at the end of Shaban (July 8), because we want to give an opportunity to as many pilgrims as possible to perform Umrah,” he said.