Devotees can now choose any part of the year to perform pilgrimage, as Umrah season is likely to remain open through the year.
The Ministry of Haj and Umrah are contemplating on keeping the Umrah season open for the whole year. This shall come into effect from next year.
Saudigazette quoted Abdullah Qadi, Deputy Chairman of the National Committee for the Haj and Umrah in Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry as saying ,
"Umrah visas will be granted throughout the year except during the Haj season which begins mid-Shawwal (the 10th month of the Islamic calendar) and ends on mid-Muharram (first month on the calendar)."
The issuance of new Umrah visa has been stopped from June 20. With over seven per cent increase in Umrah visa, their number reached to 6.4 million last year.
"This is still below the ministry's ambitious plan of receiving about eight million Umrah pilgrims this year," said Qadi attributing the drop in Umrah pilgrims to the global economic slowdown.