The frequency of flights from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah in the Holy Land has increased, coinciding with the holy month of Ramadan, with the expectation of an increase in the number of travelers to perform the ritual in the last ten days of the month, in light of a noticeable increase in flight prices and costs, since the first week, and hundreds of citizens and residents are crowding the Hajj and Umrah offices to go to Makkah to perform the ritual during the last days of the month.

A local Arabic daily said since the issuance of the Hajj and Umrah law, the violations have become non-existent because the violators are aware of the strict laws and deterrent penalties if offices do not comply.

The prices for the pilgrimage varies depending on the time of the ritual, for example, in the first 20 days of the holy month the prices range between 200 and 380 dinars, while in the last ten days the prices are more upward and reach between 500 and 800 dinars for a double room. This means the cost of Umrah for two reaches 1,400 dinars, while it is 2,000 dinars per person for VIP service.

The cost for Umrah did not exceed 170 dinars before the Covid-19 pandemic but now the costs vary according to the services provided to the pilgrim, most notably the hotel’s proximity to the Haram, suhoor, breakfast and accommodation.

The price increased by about 15% compared to what it was before the pandemic, and the initial price is 200 dinars, and many office owners attributed these increases to the increase in the pricing by hotels and services in the Holy Land, considering that the current prices are reasonable given the pandemic situation.

The office owners pointed out that the new laws set by the Kingdom to control Umrah, represented in the prepayment of hotels in Makkah and Madinah through an electronic platform, and the registration of the names of pilgrims before entering the Holy Land.

They indicated that “due to the high prices of flights, traveling by land has become the preferred option because it costs much less, especially after the Saudi authorities allowed the entry of residents by land to perform Umrah.”

Meanwhile, responsible sources in the Ministry of Awqaf confirmed tightening control over Hajj and Umrah offices to prevent any violating activity.

The sources indicated there are 57 companies approved by the government to organize Umrah trips and 9 companies for tourism and travel that also organize Umrah activities bring the total number of companies to 66, and the pilgrims are distributed among 17 companies.

It indicated that the number of pilgrims in the first two weeks of Ramadan reached 2,600 by land, their number in the first week was 1,524, and the number of buses that took them was 33. As for flights for Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis, it amounts to 30 flights per week.

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