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Saudi Arabia Grants 2.6 mn Visas to Perform Umrah This Year

Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. Unlike Haj, Umrah can be undertaken any time of the year

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Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Image Source: Wikimedia

Saudi Arabia has granted 2.664 million visas for pilgrims to perform Umrah this year, a 2.79 per cent up over the corresponding period last year, according to official statistics released on Friday.

Up till now, 2.250 million pilgrims have entered the kingdom to perform Umrah, a growth of 3.47 per cent over the same period last year, the Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah said.

Saudi Arabia issues 2.6 mn Umrah visas. (Wikimedia Commons)

Up to 1.9 million pilgrims have already performed Umrah to date and left the Kingdom, an increase of 3.05 per cent over the same period.

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Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. Unlike Haj, Umrah can be undertaken any time of the year. (IANS)

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Pakistan, Saudi Arabia Likely To Sign MoUs Worth More Than $10bn

He said that four Malaysian firms were also due this month and would invest in four sectors - halal meat, gemstone, information technology and hi-tech education

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Imran Khan, taliban
Pakistan Decides To Shelve Major CPEC Power Project. VOA

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are likely to sign memoranda of understanding (MoU) worth more than $10 billion this month, the media reported on Thursday.

The announcement was made at the second meeting on ease of doing business (EoDB) presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday.

Speaking to Dawn news after the meeting, Finance Minister Asad Umar said Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz would visit Pakistan next month and most of the MoUs were expected to be signed during his trip.

Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Haroon Sharif said Saudi Arabia was interested in Pakistan’s four sectors – oil refinery, petrochemicals, renewable energy and mining.

“According to a survey, 65 per cent of the investments will take place in the country’s commercial hub Karachi and 35 per cent in Lahore,” he added.

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Imran Khan, wikimedia commons

The $10 billion investment will be in addition to the $6 billion bailout package given by Riyadh to Islamabad during Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia in October 2018.

Similarly, Pakistan will also sign MoUs with China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia over the next two months.

Sharif told Dawn that he had recently visited China and signed MoUs on industrial cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC).

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The BoI chief said the UAE was interested in agriculture, housing and other sectors.

He said that four Malaysian firms were also due this month and would invest in four sectors – halal meat, gemstone, information technology and hi-tech education. (IANS)