JEDDAH — The lifting of a 20 percent cut in Haj pilgrims’ quota will help Saudi businesses in Makkah compensate for the SR60 billion losses they suffered over the past four years when the measure was implemented due to Haram expansion projects, said Maher Jamal, chairman of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
“We have estimated the total losses suffered by relevant sectors in Makkah as a result of a 20 percent reduction in the quota at SR60 billion. The cut continued for four years with an annual loss of SR15 billion,” Jamal told Al-Watan Arabic daily.
He commended the Saudi government’s efforts to expand the two holy mosques in Makkah and Madinah, spending billions of riyals to accommodate large numbers of pilgrims who come to perform Haj and Umrah.
“The expansion of the mataf (the circumambulation area around the Holy Kaaba) and prayer areas at the Grand Mosque in Makkah will enhance the comfort of pilgrims and other worshippers,” the chairman said. More info