King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia has issued a royal decree that will cancel Hajj and Umrah visa fees starting from this year, a member of the High Committee for Hajj and Umrah, Nasir Toruk, announced.
The decision to cancel the new imposed charges came after protests of Egyptians and Muslims in other countries about the fees that are perceived to be expensive, Alborsa News reported.
In addition to the cancellation of the newly imposed charges, Saudi Arabia would grant two free visas for each licensed company working in the field of Hajj and Umrah.
Meanwhile, the Saudi authorities called for the Egyptians to reform the body which governs the Egyptian companies specialised in this kind of religious tourism.
The former head of the Religious Tourism Committee in Egypt, Basel Al-Sisi, said that the cancellation of the charges would have a positive impact on the religious tourism sector, noting the Saudi move as a “positive measure in the right direction.”
However, he insisted that they did not receive formal notice about the decision, claiming that all that was now happening was only based on media reports from the Saudi side. Al-Sisi’s comments come despite an official announcement being made by Nasir Toruk.