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Egypt bans travel to Saudi on new tourism visas

July 19, 2019 at 12:14 pm

Muslim Hajj pilgrims perform prayer around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site, located in the centre of the Masjid Al-Haram (Grand Mosque) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on 10 August, 2018 [Behçet Alkan/Anadolu Agency]

Egyptian authorities have decided to ban passengers who hold Saudi tourism visas to attend the “Sea and Culture” festival in Jeddah from travelling.

This came after the Saudi authorities prevented the entry of about 30 Egyptians who hold the newly issued visas because of fears their real intention in entering the kingdom was to complete lesser pilgrimage, Umrah, and not to attend the concerts.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia are investigating companies who have issued the visas.

Saudi Arabia has been cracking down on Hajj and Umrah companies which are using the new tourism visas to gain access to the Muslim holy sites as the application process is faster and cheaper.

As a result, the kingdom has informed airlines that the new visa will be suspended during the Hajj season which is due to begin in early August.

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