Post Umrah, pilgrims can now don tourist hats

RIYADH: Post-Umrah program, a key part of ‘The Kingdom Is Destination of Muslims’ initiative, was launched on Sunday by Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH).
He said the program aims at enabling Umrah performers to see the country’s landmarks, historical sites, tourist attractions and shopping centers.
They might also opt to make cultural, medical, educational and shopping tours, visit exhibitions and attend conferences after having completed Umrah, he said.
“We want to link a Muslim to his roots — religiously, culturally and emotionally,” he said, adding that it is never just an economic or financial project.
He said preparations were made for several years to set up the program.
He cited the procedure of automatic conversion of an Umrah visa to a tourist one, which was once subject to discussion with several agencies. Non-Umrah visa holders could also avail themselves of the opportunity to join the post-Umrah program.
He said the program was strictly supervised by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.
Prince Sultan signed agreements with the relevant government bodies to make the program a reality.