Pilgrim influx benefits Madinah businesses

Islamic prayer beads prove to be some of the top selling items traded in Madinah. (Shutterstock)

The head of the Tourism Committee and member of Madinah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) said pilgrims are expected to spend $640 million in Madinah this Haj season.

He noted that these expenditures include hotel accommodations, airfare and general shopping in Madinah stores and commercial centers.

Madinah has been witnessing an influx of pilgrims who have completed their hajj rituals and now want to visit the Prophet’s Mosque and pay their respects to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

Madinah’s central area is receiving the bulk of pilgrims due to the availability of various services and the close proximity to the Prophet’s Mosque. The northern part of the central area is the most preferred area for hotel accommodations where a number of stores are located in the eastern and western residential towers that directly face the Prophet’s Mosque.

Hot sellers

A number of store owners and workers in the central area said they are selling significantly more products as pilgrims want to buy presents for their families and loved ones before they leave the Kingdom. The manager of a commercial center, Talal al-Amri, expects commercial complexes and commercial markets to witness and realize the most sales of the year during this period.

The owner of a store in the central area, Fadl Ahmad, said the central area is witnessing a 60 percent increase in customers with pilgrims from Iran making up the majority of shoppers, followed by the Turkish.

Chief of rosary retailers in Makkah, Fayiz al-Zahrani, said rosaries make up 35 percent of Haj gift purchases, making them the second-most popular gift after Zamzam water. This haj season, rosary sales in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah markets were valued at $21 million.

The majority of rosaries or about 75 percent are made of glass and plastic that are imported from China, al-Yaum daily reported.


This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Oct. 11, 2014.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43