Muscat: The King of Saudi Arabia has approved a number of incentive initiatives for facilities affiliated to Haj and Umrah sector in light of the repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic.
A statement issued online by Saudi Press Agency (SPA), said: "Based on the keenness of the custodian of the two holy mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to mitigate the financial and economic impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on individuals, private sector enterprises and investors, a Royal approval was issued including a number of incentive initiatives for facilities affiliated to Haj and Umrah sector."
SPA also said :"The initiatives come as part of the efforts being exerted by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to cope with the financial and economic negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the most affected sectors operating in the Haj and Umrah sector.
The initiatives are as follows:
1. Exempting accommodation facilities based in the cities of Makkah and Madinah from annual fees levied on licenses for municipal commercial activities. The measure lasts for one year.
2. Exempting private sector enterprises operating in Haj and Umrah sector from paying the fees imposed on employed expatriates. The exemption lasts for six months.
3. Renewing the Ministry of Tourism licenses for accommodation facilities in the cities of Makkah and Madinah, free of charge, for one year long, which can be extended.
4. Postponing the collection of residency (Iqama) renewal fees for expatriates working in activities related to the Haj and Umrah sector for six months, the amount to be paid in installments over one year.
5. Extending the validity of traffic licenses for buses working with transport pilgrims facilities for one year and free of charge.
6. Postponing for three months the collection of customs duties on new buses scheduled to operate during the forthcoming Haj season 1442 AH, whereas the amount to be paid in installments over four months, starting from the due date.
The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has launched more than 150 initiatives, with allocations exceeding SR180 billion, aimed at addressing the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigating its effects on individuals, private sector and investors."