With the approaching pilgrimage season to the Sacred House of God, the Egyptians are afraid of repeating the failed scenario prepared by the coup government to organize Umrah trips during the months of Rajab, Sha’ban and Ramadan through what it called the “electronic portal” and caused millions of Egyptians to be deprived of performing Umrah and the emergence of a black market and brokers, and the price of the trip reached More than 50 thousand pounds.
On the other hand, tourism companies were prevented from working in the Umrah market, and the number of visas obtained by each company was reduced to 20 visas only, while the profits were returned to brokers and the black market besides Saudi Arabia, which granted Egyptians visit visas that numbered more than 500,000 visas within months Rajab, Shaban and Ramadan.
200 thousand pilgrims
On these disasters, Ihab Al-Mahdi, a member of the General Assembly of the Chamber of Tourism Companies, said that the crisis of Egyptian pilgrims overcrowding at Jeddah airport revealed the failure to organize Umrah on the part of the coup government after the coup officials announced that the number of pilgrims was 20 thousand in Ramadan, and a small number did not exceed 300 Egyptians who had leaked through The Egyptian airports are illegal, then the Saudi officials surprised us with a statistic confirming that the Egyptians who traveled on an Umrah visa were 125,000 Egyptian pilgrims during only 23 days in Ramadan, and that is not the Egyptians who traveled on commercial, Schengen, England and tourist visas, and their number is not less than 100,000 Egyptians during the month of Ramadan only .
Al-Mahdi confirmed in press statements that the number of pilgrims who traveled from Egypt exceeded 200,000, i.e. ten times the number allowed by the coup authorities, due to the adherence of officials to the number of 20,000 pilgrims. He explained that as a result of the lack of supply in the Umrah market and the increase in the price of the visa to 38,000 pounds, the reaction was that the state lost fees and taxes estimated at millions of pounds.
Al-Mahdi revealed that the state’s attempts to reduce the number of pilgrims under the pretext of providing hard currency caused the Egyptians to be tortured by traveling through Dubai, Jordan, Lebanon and Sudan, expressing his regret that officials did not listen to the experts who emphasized that limiting the numbers would be met with an unjustified rise in the price of the visa. .
He said that the regime’s tyranny led to the exit of tourism companies licensed from the military state from the Umrah market in exchange for all Egyptians working on Umrah, due to the stubbornness of those responsible for the numbers file.
Mohamed El-Gendy, a member of the General Assembly of the Chamber of Tourism Companies, confirmed that the crisis of Egyptian pilgrims at Jeddah Airport is due to the decision to limit Umrah visas for tourism companies to about 60,000 visas only for a period of 3 months in Rajab, Shaaban and Ramadan.
Al-Jundi said, in press statements, that the attempt to reduce Umrah visas was a direct cause of the recovery of the black market and the legalized diversion of currency, and then the Egyptian pilgrims piled up in the thousands at Jeddah Airport upon their return.
He pointed out that the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (in the coup government) placed the responsibility for setting the ceiling for Umrah visas on the Supreme Hajj Committee, which in turn attributed the reason to unknown parties, which exacerbates the crisis in the absence of a followed and agreed upon system that protects Egyptians, whether pilgrims or workers in tourism companies.
Al-Jundi explained that setting a ceiling for visas not exceeding 20,000 for companies committed to Umrah controls per month, was a punishment for companies and support for Saudi brokers and agents, and support for those who deal directly with the citizen to organize his Umrah without the need for the Egyptian electronic Umrah portal.
Alaa Al-Ghamry, a former member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Tourism Companies, said that the pictures of the crowded pilgrims returning at Jeddah Airport, which were circulated by users through social media, came because some groups did not adhere to their travel dates, and the lack of good preparation from officials at the airport, which caused the delay of all return flights.
Al-Ghamry added, in press statements, that huge numbers of Egyptians traveled to perform Umrah on a visitor or tourist visa, and from outside the framework of the Egyptian electronic Umrah portal, due to the miscalculation of the situation by those responsible for determining the number of pilgrims, who allocated the number of tourist Umrah visas not exceeding 60 Alpha in three months, while Saudi Arabia allowed everyone to enter through electronic applications, which allowed about 125,000 Egyptians to perform Umrah in the first 23 days of Ramadan on a tourist visa without the Umrah gate code.
He pointed out that the restrictions on controls and the Umrah gate were imposed only on committed tourism companies, while everyone worked in the season, explaining that during the Umrah season “Rajab, Shaaban, Ramadan”, the Saudi embassy issued about 500,000 visit visas, suitable for performing Umrah without the barcode of the Egyptian gate.
Al-Ghamry revealed that there is a great desire among citizens to perform Umrah during the month of Shawwal, but the official controls issued by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in the coup government prevented tourism companies from organizing trips in this month, which will revive the brokers’ treasury again.
Source: بوابة الحرية والعدالة by fj-p.com.
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