The much spoken Umrah-tourism package program seems to have remained on paper as the authorities concerned have been accused of limiting pilgrims’ trips to the Two Holy Cities.
“The Passport Department and the Haj and Umrah Ministry do not allow pilgrims to go out of the borders of the Two Holy Mosques,” a source in the travel industry told local media. 
A number of investors in the Umrah sector have complained to the Haj and Umrah Ministry to facilitate procedures in accordance with the system, but their pleas were ignored, said the source.
“The Passport Department expressed its apprehension over pilgrims overstaying if allowed to travel to other places in the Kingdom. But investors in the sector are responsible for reporting such cases,” he said. 
“The Umrah-tourism program could be a good a source of income and can help reduce the Kingdom’s dependence on oil as an essential source of national income. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage must intervene and resolve the proble,” the source said. More

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