RIYADH Saudi Arabia (SAMIRAD) --
The number of pilgrims performing Umrah in the
holy city of Makkah this Hijri year reached 6,136,139 by last Sunday, which
marks the end of the Islamic month of Shaban, up seven per cent compared to
5,719,398 in the corresponding period of last Hijri year, according to the
Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s latest monthly statistical report.
According to the report, covering the period until the end of the Islamic month
of Shaban (April 6 to 5 May, 2019) of the current Hijri year 1440, the number of
issued visas is 6,730,109 visas, up 6 percent from last Hijri year’s 6,314,448.
The report looks at the number of issued visas, footfall of pilgrims visiting
the Kingdom, number of pilgrims leaving the Kingdom, and number of pilgrims
still in the Kingdom.
The current 2018-2019 Umrah season, which began earlier than usual, on the
1st of the Islamic month of Muharram, coinciding with mid-September 2018, is
expected to see an increase in the number of Muslims performing Umrah.
Umrah — the minor pilgrimage undertaken by Muslims outside of the major Hajj
pilgrimage — traditionally began during the following Islamic month, Safar.
The 2017-2018 Umrah season started in late October 2017 and ended in early
July 2018 and drew more than seven million pilgrims, according to the ministry.
"Umrah season is open most of the year wherein more Muslims can visit and
perform Umrah rituals," the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah noted in the report,
carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
As for the 2018 Hajj season from August 19-24 more than 2.37 million pilgrims
travelled to Makkah to perform the pilgrimage, including more than 1.75 million
from outside the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the ministry’s latest report said the number of pilgrims who left
the Kingdom so far this Umrah season is 5,589,537 pilgrims, for an increase of
five per cent from 5,324,906 pilgrims who left the Kingdom during the same
period last season.
The number of pilgrims still in the Kingdom is 546,602 pilgrims, with
pilgrims staying on average in Makkah for 13 days and in Madinah for 8 days.
The number of pilgrims who stayed in the Kingdom during last year’s
corresponding period was 394,492 and stayed on average in Makkah for nine days
and in Madinah for five days.
Most pilgrims arrived via air (5,486,345) while 567,976 entered by the land
entry point and 81,818 pilgrims via seaports. Most air arrivals are via King
Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.
Male pilgrims numbered 3,190,533 while female pilgrims were 3,539,576.
As for nationalities, 1,371,544 pilgrims are Pakistanis, 894,571 Indonesians,
595,429 Indians, 422,365 Egyptians, while 292,498 pilgrims come from Turkey,
274,109 from Yemen, 266,333 are Algerians, 262,109 Malaysians, 231,342 Iraqis,
and 169,529 pilgrims are Jordanians, according to the ministry.
The top five languages used in Umrah are Urdu, Malay, Hindi, Arabic, and
The Saudi Vision 2030 roadmap for the future, which is spearheaded by Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to improve the pilgrimage experience and states
as one of its goals:
"To increase our capacity to welcome Umrah visitors from eight million to 30
million every year."
This will be done through a strategic and comprehensive plan to improve the
At the beginning of Hijri year 1440, the ministry launched the Umrah weekly
indicator to focus on the number of issued visas, the total number of pilgrims
arriving in the Kingdom via air, land, and seaports, number of pilgrims in
Makkah and Madinah, and the number of pilgrims leaving the Kingdom after
completing Umrah rituals.
The statistical report aims at enabling authorities to track the number of
pilgrims coming into the Kingdom each month of this year as well as comparing it
with the numbers of each month last Hijri year, and in turn, enrich their
experiences by providing high-quality services.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah launched a new interactive
website to provide easy access to more than 30 of its services to pilgrims in
Arabic, English and French and with more languages to be added in the future.
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