Saturday, March 18, 2017

Umrah Visa to be extended up to 3 months – Shoura Council to decide

Recently, Al- Shoura Council panel proposed the summary for extension of Umrah visa period. Extension of Umrah period is proposed for up to three months. An Arabic daily newspaper of Oman reported that Members of Al-shoura council suggested that soon proposal of extension in Umrah period is going to be finalized which will extend the limit of Umrah visa up to 3 months.  Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who was the former king of Saudi-Arabia and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques from 1982 to 200,5 formulated a royal decree in the form of Al-shoura council. Al Shoura literal meaning is chief executive which refers to a person who is given charge with the authority in Islam.

Al-Shoura council was found in the year 1992. It consists of 60 members and these members are appointed by the King. Al-Shoura Council in the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia holds the same position and powers as the western parliaments possess.   Umrah is a spiritual journey which is done by Muslims all around the globe in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Although Umrah is not compulsory, Muslims who can easily afford it can perform at any possible time of the year. Umrah has two types and Muslims can choose from any one type which is feasible, comfortable and affordable for them. One is al-Umrat al mufradah and other is Umrat al-tammatu   Al-Umrah al mufradah refers to the Umrah which is performed separately from Hajj and has no association with Hajj. 

Umrat al-tammatu means Umrah which is performed along with Hajj. First, all the rituals of the Umrah are performed and then proceed towards Hajj performance.  Dr. Fahad bin Jumah, who is working as Vice Chairman of the Financial Committee Council, stated that the extension in Umrah period would be given after meeting certain facts, terms, and conditions which include the number of extension seekers financially. An extension in Umrah visa period will give Umrah pilgrims some comfort and more time. Besides, after the Umrah performance, the pilgrims can also enjoy local tourist activities which will give them an enchanting experience and a chance to view different attractions in the Kingdom.

Extension of Umrah visa limit will also support the Saudi economy and promote local tourism. Development of tourism can also help in creating job opportunities and emerge businesses at small or medium level supporting tourism.  Dr. Fahad bin Jumah also added that inadequate investment in tourism development and infrastructure such as hotels and resorts is limiting the tourism activity. However, the private sector is also not playing a major role in tourism development.

In order to boost the economy and attract tourists in different states of the Kingdom, Vice chairman of the financial committee council called the General Authority for Entertainment. The general authority for Entertainment is accountable and held responsible for this task by maintaining different types of recreational centers to boost the culture, customs, and traditions of the Kingdom and support national heritage. This way, more job opportunities would be created for the young generation especially for women who are working at different recreational centers.

Source: Arab News

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