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RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that from May 24 to June 26, Umrah permits will only be issued to people with a confirmed Hajj permit.
The directive has been issued by the ministry to facilitate the Hajj pilgrims coming to Saudi Arabia from all over the world and ensure that their pilgrimage to the Grand Mosque in Makkah is carried out with ease and comfort.
The ministry stated that no Umrah permits will be issued to those without a confirmed Hajj permit.
This measure is aimed at managing the influx of pilgrims to the holy city during the busy Hajj season and ensuring a smooth experience for all pilgrims.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah posted on A fine of SR10,000 ($2,666) will be imposed on those caught in Mecca and the holy places without a Hajj permit, applicable to citizens, residents and visitors. The fine will double for repeat offenders, and offenders risk deportation and a ban from entering Saudi Arabia.”

Earlier, the Ministry of Interior announced punishments for those who violated the rules and instructions of Hajj, such as those found without permits in Makkah, the Central Region, the Holy Places, the Haramain Train Station in Rusayfah, security checkpoint centers, sorting centers and temporary security control centers. These are in effect from June 2 to June 20.
Any citizens, residents or visitors caught within the specified restricted areas without a Hajj permit will be fined SR10,000. In addition, residents face deportation to their home country and are denied entry to the Kingdom for a certain period.

The ministry stressed the importance of complying with the regulations and instructions for the Hajj and emphasized that the fine for repeat offenders would be doubled.
Transporting people without a permit is a serious crime, with penalties of up to six months’ imprisonment and a fine of up to SR50,000. The fine will increase proportionally to the number of persons transported. The means of transport will be confiscated and foreign transporters will face deportation and a ban on re-entering the Kingdom for a certain period.
The public is urged to report anyone violating the rules by calling (911) in Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province, and (999) in the remaining regions.
The hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is expected to take place from June 14 to 19 this year.