Umrah rush drops by 70% in Kashmir

March 30, 2023
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Srinagar: Zahoor Ahmad, an Umrah service provider, had invested huge money after witnessing a huge rush during winter.

 From booking tickets to hotel rooms, he was all set for providing hassle-free services to his customers during Ramadan.

 His dreams came crashing down after the rush dropped considerably during Ramadan.

 “I am facing heavy losses right now. During winter, we had a good number of customers. Umrah service providers were all set for a busy Ramadan. However, nothing like this is happening,” he said.

 Post Covid, Kashmir  witnessed a heavy rush of people performing Umrah. More than 40,000 people went on a pilgrimage during winter.

 Umrah tour operators said the rush has dropped by 70 percent in Ramadan.

 “During winter at least 40,000 people from Kashmir performed Umrah. We were all set for a busy Ramadan. But only 1500 pilgrims are going for Umrah this month which is a big loss for the service providers,” said Sheikh Feroz, president of the Jammu and Kashmir Association of Hajj Umrah Companies.

 Feroz said that the Umrah service providers had made all arrangements which included blocking airline tickets in advance and hotel rooms in Makkah and Madinah.

 “Umrah service providers were expecting to facilitate the travel of at least 80,000 pilgrims from Kashmir this Ramadan. People from other countries are going on pilgrimage in large numbers. However, we are witnessing a slump in Kashmir,” he said.

 Feroz said hoteliers and other service providers have hiked rates in both the holy cities. “This is understandable.  But we didn’t expect so much of a fall in the numbers. Umrah service providers are unable to bear the losses,” he said.

 Pertinently, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has issued new guidelines for pilgrims wishing to perform Umrah during Ramadan.

The ministry said pilgrims can only perform Umrah only once. This move is to ensure that all pilgrims who wish to perform Umrah during Ramadan have the opportunity to do so with ease and comfort.

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Firdous Hassan

Self-help believer, a gadget lover and nature's admirer.
Presently Senior reporter at The Kashmir Monitor with an experience of nine years in reporting business, crime, defense, politics and environment.Have also contributed to reputed media organizations including First Post, India Spend, Forbes India

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