Saudi Arabia: $8.5 billion income from hajj expected

A study stated that about two million Muslims would make the pilgrimage to Makkah. (File photo: Reuters)

The Kingdom could earn about SR32 billion ($8.5 billion) from this October’s hajj, according to a study published on Monday, which predicted that two million Muslims would make the pilgrimage to Makkah.

The Makah Chamber of Commerce said revenues from the world’s largest annual gathering of Muslims would increase by three percent from last year.

The study was based on estimates that 1.98 million pilgrims will travel to the holy city of Makkah, including 1.38 million, or 70 percent, from abroad.

According to the report, a pilgrim who has traveled from another country will spend an average of SR17,381 ($4,633) during hajj, which runs for five days. A domestic worshiper pays around SR4,948 ($1,319), the study found.

Expenses include housing, food and drink, gifts and phone bills.

Millions of people visit Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia for the hajj, a pilgrimage all Muslims are expected to make at least once in their lives if health and finances permit.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.

Last Update: 10:53 KSA 13:53 - GMT 10:53