The New UMRA System
If you wish to go on Umra, you may be aware that the Saudi government has now introduced new regulations specifying that all pilgrims entering the country must do so via an approved agent. Alhamdulilah, we are pleased to announce that Barket Travel & Tours is recognised as an ‘Approved Agent’ by the Ministry of Hajj, in Saudi Arabia, thus enabling us to arrange ‘Umra for you. Under the new system it is no longer possible for individuals to approach a Saudi Arabian Embassy to acquire an Umra Visa. Visa applications are now only accepted through Ministry of Hajj approved travel agents. It is a requirement that all accommodation for the duration of stay in Saudi Arabia is pre-booked and paid for through the appointed Travel Agent. It is therefore no longer possible to acquire a visa only and make accommodation arrangements having arrived in the Kingdom.
- Accommodation to the standard required by the Umra performer is agreed and paid for well in advance of travel. There are no last minute surprises.
- Meet and assist services are provided upon arrival at King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, including transportation to your hotel in Makkah – Medinah and back to airport.
- Discounted room rates are offered at leading hotel chains through negotiated rates by the agent.
- Visas are now granted for the duration of your booking of accommodation rather than the 14-day period previously given.
- Umra Season has now been extended from the 1st of Safar to the middle of Shawwal, each year.
- Visas are acquired by the agents, therefore a journey to the embassy is no longer necessary
Additions to the Umra regulations as of 2003, are as follows:
- Minimum package duration must be 5 days
- Visas will be issued for the exact number of days in accordance with accommodation booked.
- Payment in full must be made prior to visa authorisation application.
- Once visa application has been applied for, the booking may not be cancelled or refund given, for the ground arrangements booked.