Jeddah: In a firm denial, the Minister of Haj in Saudi Arabia, Bandar Hajjar on Monday categorically stated that the Saudi missions in any part of the world are not charging any fee for Haj or Umrah visas.
“There is no logic behind such talks. The Kingdom has been spending billions of riyals to make Haj and Umrah easy and comfortable for pilgrims", the minister is quoted by local daily Arab News.
"The ministry is working hard to provide the pilgrims an opportunity to perform Umrah in an environment of serenity, dignity, security and confidence", he said.
The minister’s statement coincided with the arrival of the first batch of 489 Umrah pilgrims. They arrived at Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah from Malaysia.
The electronic system of Umrah services has made the process of getting visas easy, the minister said, adding that six million Umrah pilgrims used this facility last year.
He said that the Umrah pilgrims have been arriving by air, as well as through sea and land routes and the Kingdom takes care of them till they depart.
The season for Umrah begins from the Islamic month of Safar and ends in Shawwal.