London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

UK one of ‘most important regions’ in Saudi bid to enhance pilgrim experiences: Hajj minister

The UK was “one of the most important regions” for Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom embarked on a journey to enrich the experiences of Umrah pilgrims, the minister of Hajj and Umrah said on Sunday.

Speaking at the Umrah+ Connect event in London during his first visit to Britain in the ministerial role, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah noted that the Kingdom was “now focused on creating seamless experiences for visitors to Saudi Arabia.”

He said: “It is this spirit which led to the design of Nusuk, launched (in September) by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.”

Nusuk is a unified government platform through which pilgrims can plan and book their visits to Makkah and Madinah, and is among the Saudi Vision 2030 objectives to better the quality of services provided and enrich the religious and cultural experience of pilgrims.

“The UK is home to more than 3 million Muslims and one of the most important regions for us as we embark on our journey to enrich and enable the spiritual and beautiful experience of Umrah for Muslims across the globe,” the minister told the Umrah+ Connect audience.

(L to R) Nusuk Managing Director Fahd Hamidaddin, MP for Bolton South East Yasmin Qureshi, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, and CBHUK CEO Rashid Mogradia.

Umrah+ Connect is an annual business-to-business event, this year jointly hosted by the Council of British Hajjis (CBHUK) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hajj and Umrah.

Al-Rabiah pointed out that serving pilgrims from around the world was an honor for the Kingdom that had witnessed an “unprecedented rise” in the number of people visiting Makkah and Madinah this year.

He said this was a “direct result” of efforts to strengthen digital infrastructure to enrich visitors’ experiences.
Guests listen to a presentation being delivered at the Umrah+ Connect event on Sunday.

“We have a goal to continue advancing technological tools, or to use more advanced technological tools to provide solutions, services, and visas that will create seamless experiences to make the pilgrim visit easier than ever before,” he added.

The minister said that among steps taken to make the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah more accessible to pilgrims, COVID-19 and age restrictions had been lifted, the duration of Umrah visas had been extended from 30 to 90 days, and the need for a male guardian no longer existed.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to serve the Two Holy Mosques and pilgrims from all over the world and this is why we have also worked to digitize the process for all visa types,” Al-Rabiah added.

Guests listen to a presentation being delivered at the Umrah+ Connect event on Sunday.

Chief executive officer of CBHUK, Rashid Mogradia, said it was an honor to host Al-Rabiah at the Umrah+ Connect event.

“We saw over 250 travel and tour operators and service providers from the Kingdom and around the world gather in the heart of London for a productive day of learning, networking, and providing solutions for challenges faced by the Umrah industry,” he added.

The CEO of CBHUK Rashid Mogradia delivers a speech at the Umrah+ Connect event on Sunday.

And he noted that the team at Umrah+ Connect was “ready to deliver on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 in enriching and enhancing pilgrim experiences and numbers.”

During the event council officials signed memoranda of understanding with Shomukh Aviation, and the Saudi Company for Visa and Travel Solutions.

A memoranda of understanding is signed at the event.

Mogradia said: “We are creating partnerships and connecting with partners in Saudi Arabia that can offer value and service for British pilgrims.

“We’re looking at ways to develop products and initiatives that will enhance the pilgrimage experience in line with Vision 2030.

“Today we got to learn more about the Nusuk brand, what it means, and how it is an enabler for both the business-to-consumer and business-to-business markets and complements traditional businesses who offer Umrah packages,” he added.


Related Articles

London Daily
Congo Army Thwarts Attempted Coup Involving Americans and a British Citizen
Ireland's Homeless Gain Voting Rights
Blinken orders crackdown on Israel-Hamas leaks
Julian Assange Faces US Extradition: Key Facts
Jacob Zuma Takes Campaign to ANC Stronghold Soweto
Attempted Assassination of Slovakia PM Robert Fico: Investigation Ongoing
What Happens If an Iranian President Dies in Office?
Spain Recalls Ambassador After Argentina President's Remarks
Rishi Sunak Faces Cabinet Backlash Over Proposed Changes to Foreign Student Visas
Rwanda Denies Entry to Human Rights Researcher
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Reportedly Killed in Helicopter Crash
Blue Origin Resumes Space Tourism with 90-Year-Old Ed Dwight
Rishi Sunak and Wife Akshata Murty Wealthier Than King Charles
New Dutch Government Drives Wedge Through EU Liberals
Iranian President Raisi Missing After Helicopter Goes Down
Freemasons and ‘Global War Party’ Accused of Conspiring Against Georgia
Poland Supports Rolls-Royce's Nuclear Power Plant Initiative
European Ports Overflow with Unsold Electric Vehicles
Esprit Files for Bankruptcy in Europe, Putting Hundreds of Jobs at Risk
Chevron Halts North Sea Drilling Amid Rising Tax Burden
Jeremy Hunt Accused of Exaggerating Conservatives' Economic Record
Victoria Atkins Discusses Historical Gender Bias in the NHS
Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 50th Anniversary: Calls for Justice
Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty’s Wealth Rises to £651 Million
New Caledonia Riots Escalate After French Voting Rights Change
Renters Face Fierce Competition as Listing Times Shrink
Surge in Fake Science: 19 journals shut down due to fraudulent papers from 'paper mills'
Global Birthrates Decline, Raising Economic and Social Concerns
Boeing Faces Possible Prosecution Over 737 MAX Settlement Violation
Prisoner Escapes in France as Two Officers Killed in Van Ambush
German Court Rules AfD Can Be Monitored for Extremism
Jacob Rees-Mogg Criticizes Bank of England’s Inflation Strategy
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Promote Invictus Games in Nigeria
UK Arms Ban on Israel Would Aid Hamas, Says Cameron
US Regulators Probe Credit Card Reward Schemes
Labour Vows to End Rwanda Deportation Scheme/Scam
Exonerated Andrew Malkinson Faces Hardship Awaiting Compensation
India Poised to Surpass Japan as 4th Largest Economy
UN General Assembly Approves Palestinian Membership Bid
Biden to Impose Tariffs on Chinese Electric Vehicles
Cyberattack Disrupts Major US Healthcare Network
McDonald's Introduces $5 Meal Deal to Attract Customers
Protesters Attempt to Storm Tesla's German Factory
The United Kingdom reports it has emerged from recession
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction