Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, announced that it expects Hajj revenues to exceed $4.2 billion for this year’s season, Asharq al-Awsat reports.
A local study highlighted that the revenues are expected to jump to $5.6 billion in five years due to the ongoing increase in the expenditures of pilgrims. It recommended benefiting from the Hajj season through attracting foreign investments.
Obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat, the study called for maximizing economic benefits by increasing income generated by private sector partnerships from SR80 million to SR190 million riyals ($ 50.67 million).
It also recommended increasing the number of active partnerships with the private sector from 1 percent to 17 percent.
More so, it highlighted the importance to consider the season as a tourism industry with respect to its religious aspects. Pilgrims mainly spend on accommodation, transportation, food and gifts.
Saudi authorities say two million Muslims from across the globe arrive in the kingdom, home to Islam’s holiest site in Makkah, for the hajj pilgrimage.
Hajj is a religious duty and for some pilgrims the journey of a lifetime.
Saudi Arabia said the Hajj 2016 received 1.8 million pilgrims.
The General Authority for Statistics in Saudi Arabia said that the 2017 Hajj has seen a total of 1,862,909 pilgrims, of whom 1,325,372 pilgrims came from outside Saudi Arabia, while the total pilgrims inside totaled 537,537 pilgrims.
Source: Asharq Al-Awsat