Saudi Considers Women To Perform Hajj Without Male Guardian

Women of all age groups could be allowed to perform the Hajj without a male guardian with the government studying various visa options, Makkah daily reported on Saturday.

Marwan Shaaban, chairman of the Haj and Umrah Committee at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), said this was agreed upon during a meeting he held with Minister of Haj and Umrah Mohammed Saleh Benten.

Deputy Minister Abdul Fattah Mashshat, investors in the Haj and Umrah sectors, hoteliers and many other concerned officials attended the meeting, which discussed the difficulties the sector faces and the future of the Umrah visas to electronic tourist visas.

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Umrah firms have raised their concerns about the impact of regulations, saying they are losing out and warning around 200 companies will be leaving the market if authorities do not step in.

Shaaban said during the meeting the minister agreed to study the cancellation of the condition of Mahram for women of all ages in order to issue them with Umrah visas.

Benten, on his part, asked the Haj and Umrah companies to exert more efforts for the comfort of the pilgrims and urged them to contribute effectively for the implementation of the Vision 2030.

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