The number of pilgrims performing Umrah this season is down 10 percent compared to the previous comparable period, according to Abdullah Ghadi, deputy head of the National Committee for Haj and Umrah at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
About 1.8 million Umrah pilgrims have arrived in Makkah, Islam’s holiest city, since the Umrah season started on November 13, Saudi Gazette reported.
During the same period last year, 2 million pilgrims had arrived.
The Ministry of Haj had planned for 1.2 million pilgrims each month, but the average has been 800,000, the English daily said.
Countries including Indonesia, Turkey, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq, Libya and Iran had seen fewer pilgrims participate in Umrah this season, Ghadi said. Only Egypt and Pakistan witnessed a 20 percent increase in the number of their pilgrims.
Ghadi said economic and political issues had caused the declines.
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