Regulations on Umrah pilgrimage services reviewed

Amendments have been brought to Umrah pilgrimage regulations.

The amendments refer to six main changes to the regulations.

The new regulations dictate that the directors of companies approved to send pilgrims to Umrah must not have been convicted for any criminal offence or corruption charges.

It further states that the proposal submitted by companies interested in organizing Umrah trips must include information on the appointed Arabic translator representing the group, and a document that certifies that the translator can speak fluent Arabic.

Additionally, all interested parties must seek the necessary permits and licensing, and register themselves on the registry of parties approved to organize Umrah trips.

Under the regulations, the approved companies must organize and announce Umrah trips twice an year.

The amendments also state that approved companies must set up an office 15 days from the day of receiving their permits.

The regulations also outline actions against companies that do not comply with the regulations. For instance, if a director of an approved company is convicted on a criminal offence, the operating permit issued to the company can be revoked after assessing the degree of the crime. If false information is listed on the application seeking a permit, the permit issued to the company will be invalidated. Such companies will be placed under a three-year suspension.

Any licensed company that acts against the regulations will also receive a three-year suspension.