Published on : Monday, September 4, 2017
Saudi Arabia is now turning to religious tourism, earning billions of dollars from hajj pilgrimage the kingdom hosts annually. With global oil prices depleting, shops situated in and around the walkway of Makkah, the Great Mosque, lowering their awnings at the prayer times only and quickly re-opening after the mosque gets empty.
This year’s hajj, according to the report of the Saudi authorities, will witness participation of over 2.35 million Muslims, the pilgrimage to Makkah, the western Saudi Arabian city which forms one of the five pillars of the religion.
As per state-run SPA news agency, roughly 1.75 million pilgrims from 168 different countries arrived. The foothills of Mount Arafat, the spot Muslims believe that Prophet Mohammed had delivered his last sermon, carpet merchants were looking for customers among the faithful.
To quote Maher Jamal, head of Meccas Chamber of Commerce and Industry, “the money spent by pilgrims this year could be from 20 to 25 billion riyals (5.3 to 6.7 billion dollars).”
Jamal informed that this instant increase in revenue occurred from a 20 percent jump in the number of pilgrims in comparison to 2016.
Thousands of dollars are contributed by each one of them on an average to the domestic economy of the Kingdom by spending lavishly on food, lodging, souvenirs and gifts respectively.