Saudi Arabia slashes visa fees for Hajj pilgrims

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is currently restructuring its visa system to cater to pilgrims travelling to the country for Hajj and Umrah.

As per the new visa system, the visa fee for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims has been slashed to SAR 300. Previously the visa fee for the same was SAR 2,000. The SAR 2,000 was valid for multiple Umrah visits for a period of 3 years. In comparison, the new visa fee of SAR 300 is a significant cut.

The new visa will also apply to transit and other visitors during the same period. Pilgrims will not have to shell out anything for repeat Umrah visits.

The significant decrease in visa fees shows that Saudi Arabia is gearing up to receive the surging number of visitors for Hajj and Umrah. Also, the kingdom is investing in huge infrastructure projects to improve the services in holy places like Mecca, Madinah and other cities.

In other news, Saudi Arabia will launch a new Tourist Visa on 27th September. The Saudi Govt. is working with various social media influencers to roll out a PR campaign for the same on the Internet. The PR campaign aims to bring in more visitors to the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia had long held the dubious distinction of being one of the hardest countries to get into. Non-Muslims or those not visiting for pilgrimage or business generally could not get in. However, with the launch of the new Tourist Visa, all that is about to change, as quoted by The Gulf Business.

Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman had launched the Vision 2030 initiative some time back. Under the same, Saudi Arabia is working hard to develop the tourism industry in the country. On the same lines, Saudi Arabia had issued special visas for special events last year. Noteworthies are the Formula E races and concerts involving big names like Mariah Carey.

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