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Umrah Pilgrims Increase Rate of Makkah Hotel Occupancy Last Days of Ramadan | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Muslim pilgrims cast stones at pillars symbolizing Satan, during the annual Haj pilgrimage on Eid al-Adha in Mina, near the holy city of Makkah, October 5, 2014. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Makkah- Pilgrims coming to Makkah for the last ten days of Ramadan have revived hotels in the central area of the Holy site and the adjacent areas, where the occupancy of hotel rooms increased more than 90 percent, according to the expectations of dealers in this sector.

The hotels in Makkah have witnessed this Umrah season events that caused fluctuations in their rates of occupancy as a result of the delayed arrival of Umrah performers from some countries, leading to a low purchase power in hotels in Makkah and Medinah.

Chairman of the Kingdom’s National Committee for Hajj and Umrah Marwan Shaaban said that this year is exceptional in regards to the occupancy of hotels due to the harsh circumstances many Arab and Islamic countries are facing.

“For example, Egyptian Umrah pilgrims are usually considered one of the largest segments of the Umrah performers compared to other Islamic countries. The delay of their arrival this year affected the occupancy process of hotels in Makkah and Medinah, in addition to their economic conditions and the Egpyt Pound’s fall against the Saudi Riyal led to their low demand on the hotels they used to check in before as they now opt for less expensive hotels that far from the central area.”

As for the Turkish Umrah performers, Shaaban said, “their currency also fell, thus their arrival to Makkah this yeas is much less compared to previous years. Likewise, the currency in Indonesia has fallen by 60 percent, so all these factors led to the fluctuation of hotel work in the Umrah season this year.”

As for the solutions taken by the hotels to save their season, the head of the National Committee for Hajj and Umrah said: “There were some solutions taken by some hotels that succeeded in attracting Umrah and foreign touristic companies. They reduced their prices and provided Umrah pilgrims with extra free nights. Some hotels put free touristic programs for Umrah performers, and these features were welcomed by customers of these hotels.”