RIYADH - Saudi citizens are now able to invite others through a 'personal visit visa' for performing religious rituals.
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that Saudi citizens will now be able to invite their friends to perform Umrah through a "personal visit" visa to facilitate the visit of foreign friends for Umrah.
The ministry stated that the personal visit visa offers four key benefits: issuance for one or several trips, the opportunity to perform Umrah rituals and visit the Prophet's mosque, exploration of various tourist destinations across all regions and cities of the kingdom, and a chance to visit historical sites and enriching destinations in the country.
Umrah is considered the lesser voluntary pilgrimage and can be throughout the year except during the Hajj days when a permit is not issued.
Last year, Saudi Arabia announced that visitors on a tourist or business visa would be permitted to perform Umrah.
The government of Saudi Arabia recently completed the Hajj operation successfully and received appreciation from across the world for having managed the whole process diligently. This was the first time after the pandemic that the kingdom received over 2 million pilgrims for Hajj and no untoward incident was reported.
As the Hajj days are over, thousands of pilgrims are landing back in their hometowns while some of them would stay in the kingdom for a few more weeks. It bears mentioning that during the Hajj season, the government had blocked the issuance of Umrah permits but the Umrah season has now begun.
Umrah is a religious pilgrimage undertaken by Muslims to the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia. Unlike Hajj, which is obligatory, Umrah is a voluntary act of worship. It involves a series of rituals performed in and around the Grand Mosque, including the Tawaf (circumambulation) around the Kaaba, Sa'i (running) between the hills of Safa and Marwah, and the cutting or shaving of hair.
Umrah can be performed at any time of the year, unlike Hajj, which has specific dates. It is a deeply spiritual journey for Muslims, symbolizing devotion, humility, and seeking blessings from Allah.
Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 22, 2024 (Thursday)
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.6 for buying and 282.4 for selling.
Euro comes down to 300.2 for buying and 303.2 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 350.6 for buying, and 354.1 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.2 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.45.
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