As many as 1.25 million pilgrims are expected to arrive each month starting next year
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is planning to triple the number of visas it issues for the Umrah pilgrimage, newspapers reported on Monday, more than two weeks after a deadly Hajj stampede. The Saudi Gazette and Okaz newspapers quoted Hajj Minister Bandar al-Hajjar as saying that as many as 1.25 million pilgrims are expected to arrive each month starting next year. That compares with 400,000 a month now, the reports said. The new system would allow full use of massive expansion projects at the kingdom’s holy sites, Hajjar was quoted as saying.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2015.