The British Muslim community has expressed its grave concern at the sudden visa rule change limiting Umrah visas to 14 days by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a large number of prospective pilgrims have already booked their travel package. This has sent all travel plans to spend holy month of Ramadan at Harmain Sharifain into chaos and risking losing their money.
The Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK, a national Hajj and Umrah specific organisation working for the welfare and wellbeing of pilgrims have raised this issue with Dr. Bandar bin Mohammed bin Hamza Asaad Al-Hajjar, Minister of Hajj, Prince Khaled Al Faisal, Governor of Makkah and Prince Mohammed Bin Nawaf, Ambassador of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in London. The Kingdom has been urged to defer this visa rule change at least for this year to help and protect the guests of Allah (SWT) from unnecessary stress, anxiety, mental anguish and financial loss.
The Association of British Hujjaj (pilgrims) UK also strongly urges specifically those prospective pilgrims who have performed their Hajj/Umrah previously to seriously consider postponing their travel plans at least for this year to avoid overcrowding at the Haram-e-Makkah where expansion work is being undertaken. The holy city of Makkah is also facing a serious shortage of accommodation due to redevelopment plans resulting in the demolishing of a large number of hotel buildings. This gesture will ensure the welfare and wellbeing of pilgrims from around the world and will enable them to perform their religious obligation in peace and harmony.