Foreign pilgrims spent on average more than SR20,000 each last year

Updated 29 October 2012

Foreign pilgrims spent on average more than SR20,000 each last year

A recent study on the spending habits of Haj pilgrims has found that a foreign pilgrim spend an average of SR 21,622 for his Haj last year.
“About 77 percent of the cost of Haj went for his accommodation, travel, fees, and food and drink in 2011,” according to the study conducted by Ahmed Al-Naqa and Essam Al-Jefri of the Administrative and Humanitarian Studies Department of the Makkah-based Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Haj Studies.
The study, in which 3,546 foreign pilgrims of different nationalities participated, said 60.8 percent of the samples had a monthly income of between SR 1,000 to SR 4,900. Their maximum spending was SR 24,400 and minimum SR 16,000.
The study divided the samples to five categories on the basis of their monthly income, nature of job, educational qualifications and mode and class of travel. The income brackets are between SR 7,500 and SR 9,900, SR 10,000 and SR 14,970, SR 15,000 and SR 19,999, SR 20,000 and SR 29,999 and SR 30,000 and SR 148,000.
Pilgrims had to spend the highest amount for their lodging at an average of SR5,652 for a room accounting for 26 percent of their total spending followed by an average of 21.7 percent for travel expense at SR 4,706. Various Haj related fees came at the third place at SR 4,455 accounting for 21 percent of the total.
Their spending on food and drinks averaged at SR1,800 accounting for 8 percent of the total spending, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
Accommodation, travel, food and fees needed SR 16612.22 accounting for 77 percent of a pilgrim’s spending.
The study also discovered a pilgrim spent 4.7 percent of the total spending to buy gifts to people back home, while he bought new cloths accounting for 5.4 percent.
They also spent 2.5 percent of the total cost of the pilgrimage on domestic transportation.
They also needed 3.5 percent to buy electrical devices at their lodgings and 2.3 percent for telecommunications costs.
The spending of each pilgrim was influenced by his monthly income, profession and educational level among other factors, the study said.
Recent media reports suggest that the cost of pilgrimage this year could be far higher than last year. It is because the basic factors that determine the cost of a Haj journey such as lodging, food and flight tickets have increased considerably this year. The cost of accommodation in Makkah has a tendency to become exorbitant during peak seasons of Haj and Ramadan. For instance, during Ramadan this year, hotel at locations close to the Grand Mosque charged SR 1,5000 for a room per night.
Most of the airlines companies have also hiked their ticket charges this year on the ground that fuel charges have increased. Food items particularly meat also have become more expensive compared to last year.

All-female Saudi tourist group explores wonders of Tabuk

Updated 21 October 2019

All-female Saudi tourist group explores wonders of Tabuk

  • About 20 women from different parts of the Kingdom took part in the sightseeing trip to the province bordering the Red Sea

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s first all-female tourist group has explored the environmental and archaeological wonders of Tabuk in the northwest of the Kingdom.

About 20 women from different parts of the Kingdom took part in the sightseeing trip to the province bordering the Red Sea.

“They were astonished to see such sights in their country, especially the area of Ras Al-Sheikh Humaid,” said Heba Al-Aidai, a tour guide in Tabuk who organized the trip.

“They did not expect to see such a place in Saudi Arabia. They looked speechless while standing close to the turquoise water of the sea. It is a truly breathtaking view.”

Al-Aidai and her colleague Nafla Al-Anazi promoted the trip on social media and attracted a group of homemakers, teachers and staff workers from all over the Kingdom, aged from 22 to over 50.

The tour was educational, too, and the women were told about the history of the places they visited. “They were taken to the Caves of Shuaib (Magha’er Shuaib), the place where Prophet Moses fled after leaving Egypt, and where he got married to one of the daughters of Prophet Shuaib, according to some historians. It was really a positive experience,” Al-Aidai said.

The visitors also explored Tayeb Ism, a small town in northwestern Tabuk, where there is a well-known gap in the towering mountains through which water runs throughout the year.

Al-Aidai said such trips aim to encourage tourism in Tabuk, and introduce Saudi tourists and other visitors to the landmarks of the region.