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Do-it-yourself umrah contravenes Saudi law

 | May 19, 2017

Tourists who are categorised as Free Independent Travellers are not considered as umrah pilgrims and can be arrested by Saudi authorities.

Mas-Ermieyati-SamsudinPUTRAJAYA: Malaysians have been reminded not to perform the umrah on their own or in a “do it yourself” (DIY) way as it is an offence under Saudi Arabian law.

Tourism and Culture Deputy Minister Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said the Saudi Arabian government had made it compulsory for all pilgrims to be registered with and managed by legitimate umrah operating companies which are known as muassasah.

“Tourists who are categorised as Free Independent Travellers (FIT) are not considered umrah pilgrims.

“They can be arrested by the Saudi authorities because the DIY umrah is illegal under the law there,” she told reporters before chairing a meeting of the Umrah Regulatory Council, here, yesterday.

She said the ministry was aware of some people sharing on social media, their experiences of performing the DIY umrah which they said was cheaper than normal packages.

Mas Ermieyati said pilgrims must register with the muassasah, who would look after them during their stay there, and could help them if they encountered problems.

She said the ministry was investigating two muassasah companies that had sold their licence to third parties.

“These companies have allowed third parties to use their systems to organise umrah packages and process visas for pilgrims, but they themselves do not have any packages,” she added.

 


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