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Wed 5 Jun 2019 09:26 AM

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Saudi Arabia approves plans for holy sites development company

The company will work to create and increase capacity at religious sites in the kingdom

Saudi Arabia approves plans for holy sites development company

Saudi Arabia has approved the establishment of a development company focused on the kingdom’s religiously significant sites, it was announced on Tuesday. 

The announcement followed a meeting of the Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites on Monday chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

According to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the company will serve as the main developer and operator for creating and increasing capacity to serve the growing number of religious worshippers expected in the coming years. 

During the meeting, the board approved a ‘strategic plan’ for Makkah and other holy sites in the kingdom, and approved regulations to address undeveloped areas in the city. 

Saudi government statistics released earlier this week show that more than 7.5 million Umrah visas have been issued this year. 

The data, from the kingdom’s Hajj Ministry, shows that a total of 7,574,428 visas have been issued, of which 7,201,851 have arrived in the kingdom.

A total of 1,056,618 pilgrims remain in the Kingdom, with 732,559 in Makkah and 324,059 in Madinah.

The statistics also show that Pakistan accounted for the greatest number of pilgrims (1,590,731) followed by Indonesia (946,962), India (643,563) Egypt (535,861) and Algeria (364,707).

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