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Pakistani pilgrims stayed on top of the list for performing Umrah this year, leaving behind India, Indonesia, Yemen and other countries, Arab News reported.
The number of Umrah visas issued by Saudi Arabia has reached 998,670 this year, of which 695,740 pilgrims arrived in the kingdom.
Pilgrims from Pakistan topped the list with 262, 695 in number, followed by 140,505 from India, 131,908 from Indonesia, 26,334 from Yemen, 21767 from Malaysia and 14,667 from the UAE.
Most have already concluded their pilgrimage, although 294,767 still remain in the KSA – with 198,786 in Makkah and 95,981 in Madina.
Around 650,702 pilgrims travelled by air, 45,010 by land and 23 by sea to Saudi Arabia, according to the data provided by the kingdom’s Hajj and Umrah ministry.
Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan to reduce dependence on oil also aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims. Developing Hajj and Umrah organisations and services is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
A weekly indicator launched not long ago by Saudi’s Hajj ministry allows the authorities to track the number of pilgrims coming into the country.
It helps the government to better prepare for the influx and provide high-quality services.
This article was originally published on the Arab News.