International

Saudi Arabia Changes Umrah Permit Policy

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that from May 24 to June 26, Umrah permits will only be issued to those with confirmed Hajj permits.

The directive from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah aims to ensure a smooth experience for Hajj pilgrims as they gather in Saudi Arabia to perform their rituals at the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

Earlier, the Ministry of Interior announced that anyone, including Saudi citizens, expatriates, and visitors, will face fines of SR 10,000 if caught entering Makkah without a Hajj permit between Dhul Qada 25 (June 2) and Dhul Hijjah 14 (June 20).

The fines will apply to individuals found without a Hajj permit in various areas, including the holy city of Makkah, the Central Haram Area, the Holy Sites of Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah, as well as the Haramain train station in Rusayfah, security control centers, pilgrims’ grouping centers, and temporary security control centers.

The ministry also informed about its intention to increase fines for repeat offenders, with penalties potentially reaching up to SR 100,000. Expatriates found violating these regulations will face deportation and may be banned from reentering the Kingdom following legal provisions.

Previously, the ministry announced that anyone caught transporting violators of Hajj regulations could face imprisonment for up to six months and a fine of up to SR 50,000.

Furthermore, vehicles used for such transportation may be confiscated through a judicial ruling, and expatriate transporters may face deportation after serving their jail term and paying the fine.

Those found violating Hajj regulations will face a ban from reentering the Kingdom, with fines increasing based on the number of violators transported.

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Published by
Arsalan Khattak