During the holy month of Ramadan, the Maldives Hajj Corporation Limited (MHCL) has facilitated the Umrah pilgrimage for 2,000 Maldivians, with the pilgrims being divided into 14 groups. Of these, 800 have already travelled to Saudi Arabia on April 6, while the remaining 988 are scheduled to travel within the next four days.
This year, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs approved 43 companies to facilitate the Umrah pilgrimages. Saudi Arabia has eased its COVID-19 measures and allowed all Muslims to travel for the Umrah pilgrimage this year, resulting in many Maldivians travelling to complete their pilgrimage. The Saudi government has simplified the visa application process, allowing millions of Muslims to receive their visas online.
Currently, around 10 million Muslims are on their Umrah pilgrimage and many more are expected to arrive in Mecca, with a large number of Muslims expected to complete their pilgrimage this year due to the ease of COVID-19 restrictions.