MAKKAH: The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that foreign pilgrims can now book Umrah trips and obtain the visas they need using the Maqam electronic platform, as part of efforts to improve procedures and provide enhanced quality of service.
The ministry said the online system allows pilgrims to select Umrah packages from authorized agents in their home country and complete the required visa-application procedures. When the authorization process is complete they will receive a reference number and, after successful online payment, the visa will be issued through the platform within 24 hours. Visas remain valid for 90 days from date of issue.
Pilgrims can also use the portal to book accommodation, flights to and from Makkah, Jeddah and Madinah, and arrange internal travel within the Kingdom.
The visa grants pilgrims the freedom to visit several Saudi cities to learn more about the cultural diversity of the Kingdom, the ministry added.