Saudi Arabia Hosts Inaugural Umrah and Ziyarah Forum to Enhance Pilgrim Experience

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah hosted the inaugural Umrah and Ziyarah Forum, focusing on enhancing the pilgrim experience through innovation, technology, and sustainable partnerships in the religious tourism sector.

author-image
Hadeel Hashem
Updated On
New Update
Saudi Arabia Hosts Inaugural Umrah and Ziyarah Forum to Enhance Pilgrim Experience

Saudi Arabia Hosts Inaugural Umrah and Ziyarah Forum to Enhance Pilgrim Experience

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah hosted the inaugural Umrah and Ziyarah Forum from April 22-24 in Madinah, Saudi Arabia. The three-day event, held under the patronage of Prince Salman bin Sultan, the governor of the Medina region, brought together participants to discuss innovative ways to improve the pilgrim experience and foster collaborations in the Umrah and Ziyarah (visitation) sectors.

The forum featured six dialogue sessions, 24 workshops, and an exhibition with over 100 pavilions showcasing services from various sectors. Discussions focused on enriching the Umrah and Hajj experience, with the involvement of 28 government entities and over 3,000 local and international companies. Key topics included air travel services, financial systems, development opportunities in housing and hospitality, and the role of technology in addressing challenges in guest services.

Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al-Rabiah highlighted the special attention given by the leadership to the Two Holy Mosques and visitors. He announced the launch of the 1966 contact center in nine languages to provide support and address inquiries from pilgrims around the world.

The forum also included several competitions, such as an Artificial Intelligence Competition in Umrah and a hackathon on historical sites related to the Prophet Muhammad's life. Experts and specialists discussed the expansion of Madinah Airport to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims and visitors, as well as the importance of transparency and compliance by service providers.

Why this matters: The Umrah and Ziyarah Forum aligns with Saudi Vision 2030's goal of improving the quality and reach of religious tourism in the Kingdom. The event aims to promote innovation, enhance services, and foster sustainable partnerships among stakeholders in the Umrah and visit sector, ultimately enriching the experiences of pilgrims and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques.

The inaugural Umrah and Ziyarah Forum concluded with panel discussions on the role of technology in finding solutions and the careful development of historical sites. More than 1,500 agreements are expected to be signed between Saudi and international companies operating within the sector. As Al-Rabiah stated, "The forum comes as a continuation of efforts to improve the experience of the guests of Rahman, provide them with the best services, and enrich their experience, spiritually and intellectually."

Key Takeaways

  • Saudi Ministry of Hajj hosted Umrah and Ziyarah Forum in Madinah.
  • Forum featured 6 dialogue sessions, 24 workshops, and 100+ pavilions.
  • Discussions focused on improving pilgrim experience and fostering collaborations.
  • Saudi launched multilingual 1966 contact center to support pilgrims.
  • Forum aims to promote innovation and enhance religious tourism in Saudi.