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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Travelling for Umrah from Qatar this year? Here’s all you need to know


Only those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have recovered from the virus will be allowed to perform Umrah

Qatar’s Ministry of Endowments has announced the procedures needed for those wishing to perform Umrah during the holy month of Ramadan.

Qatari citizens as well as nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council must register on the “Tawakkalna” application, which can be downloaded through App Store or Google Play, the ministry explained.

Those traveling to Saudi Arabia for Umrah will also have to request an Umrah permit through the Eatmarna application, which can be downloaded on the Qatari SIM card. 

Meanwhile, residents are required to reserve the basic package for Umrah through an authorised external agent and a Saudi company, through which an agent will book the date of the pilgrimage using the “Tawakkalna” application. 

The company will then oversee the issuance of visas for those in Qatar wishing to perform Umrah in the neighbouring Saudi kingdom.

Qatar residents visiting Saudi Arabia are also required to submit a negative PCR test to ensure they are Covid-19 free. The test must be issued by a reliable laboratory no longer than 72 hours prior to travel. 

A quarantine period of three days in a hotel is also mandatory to ensure everyone’s safety during the pilgrimage, the Saudi ministry announced. 

Last month, Saudi authorities confirmed only those that have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed to perform Hajj and Umrah during the upcoming season.

All pilgrims will be required to wear masks at all times and abide by precautionary measures implemented in the kingdom. The regulations include social distancing inside the living quarter of pilgrims as well as a maximum of 100 people per group.

Those under 18 and over 60 will not be allowed to perform Hajj and Umrah this year due to precautionary measures.

The annual pilgrimage, which under normal circumstances attracts millions of visitors, is  expected to fall on July 17 this year. However, an influx of worshippers tend to travel to Saudi Arabia for Umrah during the fasting month of Ramadan, which is due to start within a week.

Throughout the three-year blockade, residents and nationals of Qatar were prevented from travelling to the Saudi kingdom to participate in religious pilgrimages.

After the signing of the Al Ula Declaration earlier this year, the two Gulf states reconciled and re-established formal ties.

“May God accept your Umrah,” the ministry said in a tweet. 

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