New Delhi: Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah on Wednesday said "We are here to make it easier for Muslims in India to go to Mecca and Medina and have a great experience doing Umrah."

"We are here to hear comments, and suggestions to enrich the experience and make it easier for Muslims in India to go to Mecca and Medina and have a great experience doing Umrah and visit Al Medina," the Saudi Minister said.

The Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah is on an official visit to India as part of a series of international tours aimed at showcasing Saudi Arabia's unwavering commitment to serving Umrah pilgrims.

This visit aims to achieve significant advancements in streamlining procedures, enhancing services, and outlining comprehensive plans for hosting pilgrims and Umrah visitors, aligning closely with the outlined objectives of "Saudi Vision 2030", as per an official release.

The minister said that during the visit "I had the pleasure to meet many different government officials including the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Minority Affairs. We had great discussions about the improvement of the surface to the Muslims going to Mecca and Medina."

The Saudi Minister said: "We have significantly improved the visa process. Now, the Umrah visa is usually issued in less than 48 hours and usually, it's issued mostly in very few hours. We are working on the air connectivity to make sure we have more flights, more options, and lower costs. We are working on the visa process also not only for the Umrah visa we have other types of visas, visit visas, family visas, tourism visas, different kinds of visas that allow Indians to go to Saudi."

He said: "Even non-Muslims can visit other cities in Saudi and use one of the visit or tourism visas to visit the kingdom."

Speaking on the Saudi Vision 2030, he said it is a great strategy to improve services across the kingdom and provide better services for pilgrims.

"The program includes many pillars. One of them is to provide better access and easier access to Mecca and Medina. Visiting Mecca and Medina or performing Umrah also enriches the experience of the visitors. We are working on the development of many different historical sites and exhibitions. More than 100 historical sites and exhibitions."

Al-Rabiah's visit reflects the ministry's and its partners' continuous efforts in the Hajj ecosystem to establish robust communication channels and foster cooperation with countries worldwide. The primary objective of these trips is to showcase the exceptional services provided by the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to Umrah seekers and visitors coming to the Kingdom, as per an official release.

Moreover, the initiatives seek to facilitate and enhance the procedures for those travelling to Makkah and Madinah, aligning with the government's steadfast commitment to creating the best possible experience for the guests of Allah.

The collective aim is to bring about a qualitative and unique transformation in the Umrah and visitation experience, further underscoring Saudi Arabia's enduring dedication to serving the pilgrims and visitors with excellence and unparalleled hospitality, the release said.