Muslim pilgrims can go for Umrah in the following months, provided that they are vaccinated. This move will serve to boost the Saudi economy after months of closure of the country’s borders. For the last 18 months, the borders were because of the Covid pandemic. But now as the borders reopen, only Saudi recognized vaccines will be permitted for visa applications. These vaccines consist of the four recognized injections, namely, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson&Johnson.
Special Pilgrimage – Hajj and Umrah
The Umrah can be performed any time of the year, unlike the Hajj. For the Saudi government, hosting both these special occasions is a matter of prestige. This is because, the Saudi government recognizes themselves as the custodians of the Ka’abah. They also consider themselves as owners of the legacy of Prophet Muhammad, the last Prophet of Islam. Saudi Arabia heavily depends on the revenue coming from both these holy pilgrimages as it makes $12 billion dollars from foreign tourism annually. Because of the pandemic, this foreign tourism industry was heavily hit as only locally immunized citizens were allowed to do Umrah and Hajj.
Muslims in Foreign Lands
Muslims residing abroad were extremely upset when the Saudi government closed the doors to the pilgrimage as a precaution against the Coronavirus. For many, the holy pilgrimage to Makkah is one of the most sought after holidays. Now, as the country gradually opens up to foreign citizens since August 1, everyone is feeling elated. Visitors are even ready to go through the arduous quarantine procedures in the Saudi regime in order to attend Umrah again. However, some are worried about the crowds in Makkah where chances of catching the virus would be high.
Thus, it comes as a great relief to the Muslims all over the world, that the Saudi government has decided to resume Umrah packages. Those residing abroad are elated. They can finally enter the country after inoculation by Saudi recognized vaccines.