By Arab News
The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 7,650,736, of which 7,393,657 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj Ministry.
There are 504,809 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 278,368 in Makkah and 226,441 in Madinah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Most pilgrims — 6,550,520 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 707,955 entered by land and 135,182 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (1,657,777) followed by Indonesia (967,125), India (650,480), Egypt (539,045), Algeria (365,628), Yemen (338,618), Turkey (321,494), Malaysia (278,674), Iraq (277,571) and Jordan (216,165).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 10,945 Saudis including 9,065 males and 1,880 females.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.
Earlier, Hajj Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin said: “The ministry aspires to develop Hajj and Umrah companies and provide a model for distinguished companies that not only seek to make a profit, but also compete with similar international services in the hospitality sector and enrich the pilgrims’ experience. The ministry is fully prepared to develop and support such a model.”
Over the next two years, Bentin said the ministry would like to see Umrah companies elevate the sector to unprecedented levels by raising the quality of the services they offered, especially in housing, transport and visits to historical sites.