According to official statistics released by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2.1 million people from Pakistan performed Umrah in 2019, more than any other Muslim country.
From January to June 2019, around 1,626,080 Pakistanis performed Umrah. From August to December 2019, another 495,270 Pakistanis performed Umrah. During 2019, exactly 2,121,350 Pakistanis went to Saudi Arabia for Umrah. Comparing it to 2018, around 1.7 million Pakistanis went to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.
The spokesman for Pakistan Religious Affairs Ministry, Imran Siddiqui, attributed Saudi hospitality to be the reason behind the surge in the number of Pakistani pilgrims. The meetings between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Prime Minister Imran Khan have been instrumental in strengthening bilateral ties. Earlier this year, Mohammed bin Salman announced special facilities for Pakistani pilgrims, such as the Makkah Route. As a result, more and more people from Pakistan are encouraged to travel to Saudi Arabia.
Each year, millions of Muslims from around the globe travel to Saudi Arabia for Umrah and Hajj. Under the Saudi Vision 2030, the Saudi government has undertaken numerous initiatives to facilitate the pilgrims during their stay. Saudi Arabia is expecting more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims annually by 2030.
Going by the numbers, 443,879 pilgrims from Indonesia, 262,887 from India, 97,709 from Malaysia, 65,083 from Turkey, 53,962 from Egypt, 47,962 from Bangladesh, 45,950 from Algeria, 29,544 from the United Arab Emirates and 23,926 from Jordan performed Umrah this year.
Earlier this month, Ministers of Religious Affairs of both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to increase the Hajj quota for Pakistan for the coming year. Under the agreement, 200,000 Pakistanis will perform Hajj in 2020. Pakistan’s Hajj quota was 184,210 for this year.
Via: Gulf News