Business permits extended for Umrah agencies

Photo: AFP

Malé, Maldives — The Ministry of Islamic Affairs revealed on Tuesday that they have extended business permits for travel agencies facilitating travel for the Islamic pilgrimage of Umrah for one year.

The ministry states that the extension that was granted on the two year permit was due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This had created difficulties in the opportunities of companies that arrange travel for individuals who are seeking to participate in the holy journey.

Due to the fear of spreading infections, Saudi Arabia was forced to ban foreign visitors from attending this year’s Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages this year.

Since there is a large demand for for Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages in the country, majority of the travel arrangements are booked in advance. However, as the pilgrimage was banned for foreign visitors, several travel agencies had to provide a refund to their clients.

A large number of Maldivians tend to attend the pilgrimage each year. This costs roughly over MVR 36,000 per person.