Malaysian Association of Tour And Travel Agents (MATTA) welcomes Saudi Arabia’s decision to cancel additional fees imposed on repeat umrah pilgrims.
Its Umrah and Haj vice president, Mohd Azri Abdul Razak said the move would certainly boost Saudi Arabia’s efforts in achieving 30 million Umrah pilgrims by 2030.
“MATTA welcomes the cancellation of additional visa charges on pilgrims performing Umrah more than once. This ia a much-awaited resolution which we support,” he said in a statement today.
The Saudi government recently announced its decision in regard to the RM2,300 (2,000 riyals) Umrah visa fees for repeat pilgrims even though the Umrah fee has increased from about RM230 (200 riyals) to RM350 (300 riyals).
According to Mohd Azri, the visa fees hike would substantially see a revised cost of approximately RM560 per person for an Umrah package.
The breakdown of the costs include processing fee of SAR88.75 (RM100), ground service of SAR100 (RM112), value-added tax, SAR9.44 (RM11) and government fees, SAR300 (RM336).
Mohd Azri said the Saudi Arabia government has formulated new guidelines for Umrah operators to adhere where it requires Umrah bookings to be made through a system implemented by the ministry.
“The new guidelines are aimed at strengthening the operations of Umrah tour operators to provide greater comfort and convenience, safety and security to millions of pilgrims to Makkah and Madinah.
“MATTA advises Umrah pilgrims to be prepared for the cost increase on Umrah packages due to the new guidelines implemented on Umrah operators by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah,” he added.