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531 companies gear up for third phase of Umrah
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 18 - 10 - 2020

MAKKAH — A total of 531 Umrah companies and establishments are gearing up to receive foreign pilgrims during the third phase of the gradual resumption of the Umrah service and visit to the Two Holy Mosques, which is scheduled to begin on Nov. 1.
This will be strictly in compliance with the coronavirus precautions and protocols to ensure the safety of pilgrims coming from abroad, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Hani Al-Omairi, member of the National Committee for Hajj and Umrah and the Hotels Committee in Makkah, said that the Umrah companies and establishments have organized many specialized courses for their employees on many aspects.
The courses included: the way of dealing with crises, crowd management, reception of pilgrims, offering the best possible services at airports and hotels, supervising their entry and exit from the Grand Mosque in line with guidelines, and taking appointments through the application Eatmarna with regard to performing the rituals.
This will be through direct supervision by qualified personnel from Umrah firms.
Al-Omairi said that there are more than 6,500 foreign Umrah agents who will be associated with the licensed 531 Saudi companies and establishments to arrange performance of the rituals by millions of pilgrims from around the world.
There are 32 sites and platforms available to book and make payment for the pilgrimage programs for foreign pilgrims.
"There are more than 1,200 hotels, with over 270,000 rooms in Makkah and over 75,000 hotel rooms in Madinah with a high-quality classification and international standards.
"There are 14,000 young Saudi men and women working in this sector. It is expected that the Umrah season will fetch about SR10 billion with 70 percent operation of hotels, transportation and commercial establishments during the current season," he added.

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