Saudi Arabia has rolled out a series of “transformative” measures like improving visa processing, accessibility and logistical support to ensure a more enriching experience for Indian pilgrims undertaking the journey to Mecca, Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfig bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah said on Wednesday.
In an interview to PTI, Al-Rabiah said the initiatives are specifically designed to provide Indian pilgrims with enhanced flexibility throughout their journey, particularly benefiting women embarking on independent Umrah trips.
The new steps like extension of the Umrah visa to 90 days and introduction of a four-day transit visa are tailored to accommodate the growing influx of Indian pilgrims.
“By promoting gender equality and cultivating a safer, more embracing environment, these changes collectively aim to ensure a more fulfilling and secure pilgrimage experience for all travellers,” he said.
Al-Rabiah, currently on a visit to India, held talks with Union Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday.
The influential minister said the aim of the new initiatives was to ensure “warmth and convenience” to the overall experience of the pilgrims.