Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has approved the exemption of the payment of a fee for expatriates working in the Hajj and Umrah sector for a period of six months, local media reported.
This move was approved by the custodian of the two holy mosques, King Salman, out of his keenness to mitigate the financial and economic repercussions of the COVID-19 on individuals, private sector establishments, and investors in the Hajj and Umrah sector.
The initiatives include the following:
1. Exemption of the annual fee for municipal commercial activity licenses for accommodation facilities for a period of one year in the cities of Makkah and Madinah.
2. Exemption of the fee for expatriates working in these firms for a period of six months.
3. Renewal of the Ministry of Tourism licenses for a period of one year free of charge for accommodation facilities in Makkah and Madinah, which can be extended.
4. Postponement of the fee collection for the renewal of residency permit (iqama) for expatriates working in this sector for a period of six months, with a condition that the amounts are to be paid in installments within a year.
5. Extension of the validity of licenses (istimara) of buses operated by establishments to transport pilgrims without charge for a period of one year.
6. Postponement of the collection of customs duties for new buses for the Hajj season of 2021 for a period of three months and paying them in installments over a period of four months starting from the due date.
These measures are part of the Kingdom’s efforts to reduce the financial and economic impact of the COVID-19 on those working in the field of Hajj and Umrah, and as an extension of the economic activities most affected by the pandemic.
Saudi government has launched more than 150 initiatives, allocating more than SR180 billion, aimed at reducing pandemic and focusing on individuals, the private sector and investors to minimize the effects.