JEDDAH: Hotels surrounding the courtyards of the Grand Mosque in Makkah were on Tuesday authorized to issue Umrah permits to guests during Ramadan as part of an initiative to help revive the holy city’s struggling hospitality sector.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah will oversee the scheme in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence via the Eatmarna and Tawakkalna apps to ensure all necessary coronavirus disease (COVID-19) safety protocols are met.
The hotel sector in Makkah has suffered a dramatic slump in business due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the measure is designed to give a much-needed boost to the industry.
In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Abdelfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat said hotels were highly dependent on the Hajj and Umrah seasons and he hoped the procedures would further help to jump start investment in the sector.
Rayan bin Osama Filali, chairman of the hotel committee, an affiliate of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that 1,800 hotels and more than 250,000 housing units in Makkah were being prepared to receive Umrah pilgrims.
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© Saudi Press Agency 2021