Makkah districts to have a bigger slice of the pie this time

By ARAB NEWS

MAKKAH: Real estate investors say districts located away from the Grand Mosque in Makkah will have a larger share of Haj profits this year due to many groups opting to house their pilgrims away from the city’s central district and benefit from cheaper rents.

Mansour Abu Rayyash, head of the real estate committee at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expects SR5.1 billion will be generated in housing foreign pilgrims this year.

He added that the average cost of rent per pilgrim is SR3,000 and that 1.7 million foreign pilgrims will be performing Haj this year.

Groups are also housing pilgrims away from the Grand Mosque because of ongoing construction in the central areas. One of those districts that often receives a large number of pilgrims is the city’s Aziziyah district, which is a prime location due to its proximity to Mina and the holy sites.

Housing a pilgrim in Aziziyah costs between SR2,200 and SR4,500.

The price of rent for a single pilgrim close to the Grand Mosque could reach up to SR7,000 and even more.

Many Haj service operators are also choosing new buildings in the Al-Adl, Al-Maabda, Jabal Al-Noor and Al-Muaisem districts. All of these buildings were issued licenses by the Haj Ministry’s pilgrim housing committee.

Real estate investor Muhammad Al-Shehri said that the Al-Bank plot in Aziziyah will house many Haj groups, especially those from India, Pakistan and the Gulf countries. The cost of rent is SR2,800 per pilgrim, he said.

“Expansion projects in the north side of the Grand Mosque have led many pilgrims to rent in neighborhoods away from the central area, especially in neighborhoods that did not house pilgrims previously, such as the Al-Shoqiya, Al-Khalediya and Al-Muaisem areas. It is the Haj groups which are selecting these buildings,” he said.

Zuhair Haddad, head of the pilgrim housing committee, said over 6,000 buildings have been licensed to house pilgrims in districts across the city.

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