Friday, March 5, 2021

Umrah now possible for people in Qatar as early as January-end

  • Jan 10, 2021
  • Author: QT-Online
  • Number of views: 8781
  • Top News
Tour operators readying various packages as Saudi border reopening breathes fresh life into hopes of going to do Umrah directly from Qatar
Satyendra Pathak
With Saudi Arabia reopening its airspace, land, and sea borders with Qatar on January 5 to end the three-year diplomatic dispute with Doha, a number of tour operators are gearing up to offer Umrah packages and making necessary arrangements for pilgrims.
According to Doha-based religious tour operators, Muslim pilgrims in Qatar are expected to avail of attractive Umrah packages to travel to Saudi Arabia directly from Qatar as early as the end of this month or at the beginning of February,    
“We have been continuously receiving inquiries about Umrah packages from both residents and nationals after Saudi Arabia announced to reopen its border to Qatar. We expect that pilgrims will be able to travel to Saudi Arabia by the end of this month or early next month and we are doing our preparations according,” AL Bateel Travel Supervisor Momen al Hamad told Qatar Tribune.     
Given a large number of inquiries, Hamad said, “We expect many pilgrims to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah once the necessary services are resumed.”
Hamad said that AL Bateel Travel is currently in the process of finalising attractive Umrah packages to cater to the large number of pilgrims.
“We are working to offer our popular QR4,000 per person Umrah package that will include visa, air tickets, three or four nights stay and other services,” Hamad said.    
A senior official of Doha-based Avens Travel and Tours said, “We expect pilgrims in Qatar to travel to Saudi Arabia directly from Qatar for performing Umrah soon. We are working on various packages to cater to a large number of pilgrims.”
Echoing the same, an official of Cosmos Travel said that necessary arrangements are being made to facilitate pilgrims in Qatar to travel to Saudi Arabia for Umrah.
“It is expected as early as flights to Jeddah and visa services are resumed. We expect this by the end of this month,” the official said.  
According to reports, Saudi Arabia has received five million pilgrims and worshippers at the Grand Mosque since the resumption of Umrah.
Saudi Arabia had initially suspended Umrah in March, 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The kingdom announced in September that Umrah would resume in a phased manner.
It restarted the pilgrimage on October 4, with citizens and expatriates in the kingdom allowed to perform Umrah at 30 percent of the capacity – equating to 6,000 Umrah performers per day.
As part of the second phase, which started on October 18, the number of pilgrims allowed to perform Umrah increased to 15,000 per day.
The third stage, which began on November 1, permitted pilgrims from outside the kingdom to also perform Umrah and visit the Holy Mosques at 100 percent capacity – 20,000 pilgrims per day and 60,000 worshippers a day.