Mashhad establishes sister city link with Karbala

May 10, 2023 - 18:2

TEHRAN – Iran’s Mashhad has forged a sister city agreement with Iraq’s Karbala to facilitate health tourism and pilgrimage between the two holy cities.

The memorandum of understanding was inked on Wednesday by Alireza Rashidian, the Khorasan Razavi Governor-General, and Nasif Jassim al-Khattabi, the Governor of Karbala, IRNA reported.

The agreement is aimed to facilitate cooperation between the private sectors and the tourism unions of the two countries, a local official said on Wednesday.

“Practical measures have been designed in this agreement to facilitate medical tourism and pilgrimage between the two religious cities.”

Each day, Mashhad, which is the capital of Khorasan Razavi province, welcomes thousands of domestic and international tourists.

The number of foreign travelers to Mashhad, one of the holiest places for Shia Muslims, jumped 311 percent during the first half of the past Iranian year, compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the director general of Khorasan Razavi airports.

In August 2020, the spiritual tradition of pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) was registered on the National Intangible Cultural Heritage list by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts.

According to available data, some 37 million Iranian pilgrims and travelers visited Mashhad during the first ten months of the Iranian year 1398 (March 21, 2019- March 10, 2020). Of whom some eight million came by road, six million by rail, 3.8 million by air, and 18 million by private cars.


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