Saudi Arabia says female Umrah pilgrims will no longer need a male guardian

The kingdom also announces the lifting of health restrictions on Egyptians performing Umrah

Umrah pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. AP
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Saudi Arabia has announced that a male guardian, or mahram, is no longer required to accompany a female pilgrim who wishes to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah from any part of the world.

Speaking at the Saudi embassy in Cairo, the Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr Tawfiq Al Rabiah also announced that the kingdom is lifting all health restrictions for Egyptian Umrah pilgrims, upon a directive from King Salman.

He said that there is no quota or ceiling for the number of Umrah visas to be issued for Muslims from all over the world.

“Any Muslim coming to the kingdom with any type of visa can perform Umrah,” the Saudi Gazette reported.

The minister also referred to the efforts made by the kingdom regarding the introduction and use of modern technologies and the digitisation of services for those who wish to visit the Two Holy Mosques, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

These included using robots to provide some services to pilgrims, as well as developing the Nusk platform, which makes available many facilities for those visiting the Grand Mosque.

"It is possible to book an Umrah permit through the platform within a short period of time, and after that, the visa can be obtained within 24 hours,” Dr Al Rabiah added.

The minister also spoke about rapid developments at the Two Holy Mosques and other holy sites regarding the infrastructure and organisation to receive the expected increases in the number of pilgrims and visitors.

Updated: October 11, 2022, 7:30 AM