We know that Umrah Pilgrims were not allowed to visit any city other than Jeddah, Makkah, and Madina. We had been recommending since long that allowing Umrah pilgrims to visit the entire Kingdom would improve domestic tourism. Finally, it seems that authorities have given an ear to these statements as Saudi authorities have confirmed that Umrah visitors can travel to any city in Saudi Arabia.
What are the conditions?
The pilgrims, however, shall stay at the Two Holy Mosques for at least 15 days. This means that they shall spend half of their stay at the Holy Mosques and a half according to their own wish. Abdulaziz Wazzan who is the current undersecretary of the Hajj Ministry for Umrah Affairs disclosed that more than 19 million pilgrims perform Umrah every year. This year the Umrah pilgrims will be facilitated with an ease of moving to different cities of Saudi Arabia.
Umrah Pilgrims with 15 days’ visa are not allowed
Those pilgrims who come to Saudi Arabia with an intention of Umrah on Umrah visa of 30 days, can move around the country yet they will have to spend 15 days visiting the Two Holy Mosques. It also means that the pilgrims who come on an Umrah visa of 15 days would not be allowed to visit other cities as 15 days stay in Makkah and Madina is mandatory on every Umrah trip.
There are so many religious places in Saudi Arabia which everyone would like to visit. For example, people like to go to Taif to see the place where Hazrat Muhammad S.A.W. was tortured. They want to go to Madain Saleh to see the place where Hazrat Saleh A.S. used to live. They want to go to Tabuk to see the places where Hazrat Hud A.S. and the people of Aad used to live.
Moreover, wells of Hazrat Musa A.S. are also in Saudi Arabia where he spent around 10 years of his life. By allowing Umrah pilgrims to visit any city around the country, people would be able to travel each and every city in Saudi Arabia wherever they want.
Economic Benefits to the Country
It will also benefit the Saudi economy as they will spend more money in Saudi Arabia. Many new tourism companies will start operations in Saudi Arabia which would ultimately result in more employment opportunities for Saudi people. All in all, it is a good move by the Saudi authorities.
Source: Life in Saudi Arabia