The Ministry of Haj and Umrah started issuing e-visas to pilgrims in less than 24 hours through a special platform, a senior official of the ministry said.
Abdulaziz Wazzan, ministry's undersecretary for the affairs of the Umrah, expected 10 million Umrah visas to be issued in the new season.
"People coming for Umrah will not have to go to Saudi embassies or consulates as they can have their visas issued electronically in less than 24 hours," Saudi Gazette quoted Wazzan as saying in Okaz Arabic daily.
Wazzan said the new portal is named 'The central platform for the electronic issuance of Umrah visas' which will be used extensively during the upcoming Umrah season.
For the first time this year, free transportation of pilgrims between Mina and the Grand Mosque in Makkah was experimented during this Haj. Adil Qari, in-charge of transport at the tawafa establishment for the pilgrims from Turkey, Europe, North America and Australia, said that over 43,000 pilgrims have benefited from the free transportation.
Qari added that the pilgrims were transported during Eid Al-Adha day on Dhul Hijja 10 and the next day. "The pilgrims were transported by 150 buses which worked continuously for 30 hours to take the pilgrims to the Haram to perform Tawaf Al-Ifadha then come back to Mina to stay the night," he said.
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