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Saudi Arabia has approved a range of initiatives aimed at assisting firms and individuals operating in support of Islamic pilgrimages.

According to the Saudi state news agency, the initiatives are aimed at mitigating the financial and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across the sector that provides support for the Haj and Umrah pilgrimages.

They include exempting accommodation facilities from the annual fees for municipal commercial activities’ licenses in the cities of Mecca and Medina.

Bus licenses operating in facilities transporting pilgrims will remain valid without charge for a year, and the collection of customs duties for new buses will be postponed for the upcoming haj season for three months.