The CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority Fahd Hamidaddin speaks at the Umrah+ Connect event on Sunday. (Umrah+ Connect)

Umrah+ Connect 2023 B2B Concludes with Remarkable Success

London, one of the world’s most vibrant and multicultural cities, hosted the third annual Umrah+ Connect 2023 B2B. a pioneering gathering for the Umrah travel industry, marking the completion of an extraordinarily successful and insightful event. The event, held on 5th November 2023, brought together global industry players, travel agencies, and service providers to foster networking, learning and explore new horizons within the Umrah and Umrah plus sector.

The event was attended by the Vice Minister for Hajj & Umrah H.E. Dr. Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat, underscoring the significance of the Umrah industry’s growth and development.

Mr. Fahd Hamidaddin the CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority highlighted the commitment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to offer a variety of religious experiences that can be “add-ons” to Umrah packages which the travel trade could offer their customers. 

“So today, we have many museums that are available and can be ticketed and sold by you to your travellers. We are committed to offering a lot more every year as we open and create systems and tickets for every site,” he said.

These include the Hira Cultural District, Dar Al-Madinah Museum, Prophet’s Mosque Expansion Project Museum, and the soon-to-reopen Clock Tower Museum in Makkah.

Umrah pilgrims are also interested in exploring the “Arab culture and nature around Makkah and Madinah,” he added.

The Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hajj & Umrah, Yasmin Qureshi MP recognized the significance of the Umrah+ Connect platform and praised the organizers for bringing the trade together to enhance and enrich the experiences of British Muslims undertaking the Umrah pilgrimage and thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their continuous dedication to serving the guests of the Almighty.

Co-hosting of the event CEO of CBHUK (Council of British Hajjis), Rashid Mogradia said “the event was very successful in “connecting more partners with buyers and sellers in both the UK, Europe and Saudi Arabia.”

He added: “It is heart warming to see that the number of British Umrah pilgrims is increasing year on year and we hope that the event will be a catalyst for even more growth for companies on either side.”

Business Opportunities
One of the highlights of Umrah+ Connect 2023 B2B was the chance for participants to forge new business relationships and explore collaboration opportunities. The event featured a dedicated B2B marketplace where travel agents and tour operators could do business with hoteliers, airlines, Saudi DMC’s, transportation companies and service providers to source  products and services to offer their customers. This platform facilitated meaningful interactions and allowed participants to discuss business prospects in detail.

Learning Platform
The event featured engaging discussions, keynotes from industry experts, and facilitated networking sessions that allowed attendees to connect, share insights, and explore new business opportunities. In these unprecedented times, the success of Umrah+ Connect 2023 highlights the resilience and innovation of the Umrah+ industry.

Gala Dinner
As the sun set over London, Umrah+ Connect 2023 B2B transitioned into an elegant Gala Dinner.  Two prestigious awards were presented on the night by the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hajj & Umrah Yasmin Qureshi MP and CEO of CBHUK (Council of British Hajjis) Mr Rashid Mogradia, which recognised special efforts being made above and beyond to facilitate services for guests of the Almighty through services and initiatives in particular focusing on delivery to British pilgrims, with the first award being presented to the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah which was received by H.E Dr Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat and the second award presented to Nusuk and was received by its Managing Director Mr Fahad Hamidaddin.

As the event concluded, participants left with new connections, enhanced knowledge, and a renewed enthusiasm to contribute to the growth and development of the Umrah and Umrah plus travel industry.

The success of Umrah+ Connect 2023 B2B was made possible by the dedicated support of our sponsors, partners and exhibitors.

Diamond Partner
We would like to express our profound gratitude to our Diamond Partner; Nusuk. Their unwavering support was instrumental in elevating the event to its full potential. Their commitment to our shared vision has been a driving force behind the success of Umrah+ Connect 2023 B2B .

Platinum Sponsor
Our Platinum Sponsors, Dur Hospitality, Makarem Hotels, Makkah Hotel & Towers and our Official Airline Partner Saudia, played a pivotal role in ensuring the event’s resounding success. Their support and dedication to the Umrah+ Connect 2023 B2B event was instrumental in creating a platform for industry leaders to connect, collaborate, and innovate.

Gold Sponsors
We offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to our Gold Sponsors, Mawasim and DS Rent, for their significant contributions. Their involvement has been a cornerstone in establishing Umrah+ Connect 2023 B2B as a hub for valuable insights and networking opportunities within the Umrah+ industry.

Event Sponsors
Our event sponsor, Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) and Accor Makkah & Madinah, deserves special recognition for their crucial role in making this event possible. Their support contributed to the seamless organisation and execution of Umrah+ Connect 2023 B2B, leaving a lasting impact on all attendees.

Our thanks and appreciation go out to our partners and exhibitors; Al Rajhi Investment, Tilal Village, Dar Al Taqwa Hotel Madinah, Umrah Holidays International, Address Jabal Omar Makkah, Jabal Omar Jumeirah Makakh, the Clock Towers, Emaar Al Diyafa Hotels, Ithraa Alkhair, Samaya Investment, Qasswa, Makkah Express, ntam, Saudi Trips, Hussain Mohammed Hijazi, Basma Emaar Group, Al Raqab Mumaiz, Yallo Go, and  Shomukh Aviation.

As we wrap up this remarkable event, we look forward to future collaborations and partnerships that will further elevate the Umrah and Umrah plus industry.

For more information and future updates, please visit our official website https://umrahconnect.org/ or contact us at info@umrahconnect.org

Host of Umrah+ Connect Rashid Mogradia speaks with the Saudi Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat. (Umrah+ Connect)
Panel Discussion on "Digital Experience Like Never Before". L-R: Mossaab Hashem, (VP for Umrah Transformation, Saudi Tourism Authority), Ahmed Fors (CEO and Co-founder, ntam Group) and Fahad AlObailan (Chief Tourism Officer, Mawasim)
Panel Discussion on "Ease of Access": L-R: Dr Abdulrhaman Abdulbagi (GM Hajj & Umrah Saudia), Abdulilah Aleidi (VP Sales, Flynas) and Sultan Otaify (VP Strategy & Communication, Air Connectivity Program)
Panel Discussion "Visitor Experience" - L-R: Saad Khyat (GM, Makkah Hotel & Towers), Hassan Ahdab (President Hotel Operations, Dur Hospitality / Makarem), Salem Al Shahrani (MD FRSS - Accor Makkah Madina) and Sale Alzahrani (Chairman, DS Rent)