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Wednesday Jan 13 2021
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Prospects brighten for Hajj 2021 as Saudi Arabia decides to reopen all airports

Muslims pray at the Grand Mosque during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, August 29, 2017. Photo: Reuters
  • Saudi Arabia has decided to open all airports in the country from March 31.
  • Saudi Aviation Authority has said that all countries except where coronavirus still prevails will be allowed to operate flights.
  • Cases of citizens belonging to countries where the virus hasn't been controlled will be thoroughly investigated.


After a hiatus of months, Hajj, Umrah prospects for Muslims around the world, including Pakistan, have become brighter this year as Saudi Arabia has decided to open all airports in the country from March 31 on Wednesday.

The Saudi Aviation Authority has issued a notification saying that all countries except where coronavirus still prevails will be allowed to operate flights.

Read more: Saudi Arabia opens borders for Umrah, 10,000 pilgrims arrive in country

The notification underscored that the cases of citizens belonging to countries where the virus hasn't been controlled will be thoroughly investigated.

Committees set up by the Saudi government will be bound to decide after examining the cases of travellers from these countries, the notification added.

Read more: Saudi Arabia to allow Umrah from Oct 4: report

The Saudi aviation said the implementation of coronavirus SOPs will be ensured for the well-being of travelling passengers.

Earlier, in November, around 10,000 international pilgrims had arrived in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah which was halted due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom and worldwide.

According to Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr Amr Al-Maddah, the 10,000 pilgrims arriving from abroad had first obtained a permit, Arab News reported.

Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina undertaken any time of the year, attracting 19 million people last year. Saudi Arabia had instituted a freeze on Umrah in March.