Oct 31 2012
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Haj generates increased revenue for Makkah
The pilgrimage season is the backbone of the commercial and industrial sector in Makkah generating 70 percent of its total annual revenue.
Talal Mirza, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Makkah, said the pilgrimage season contributes to increased financial activity in the holy city, in the areas of real estate, industry, trade, and the hospitality industry.
Mirza said this season is particularly important to the inhabitants of Makkah who rely heavily on it, even though there has been a remarkable increase in sales in recent Umrah holidays.
"Haj also leads to thousands of seasonal jobs for students, the unemployed or those who are employed in the private or public sector and looking for seasonal work during their official leave," he said.
He said many families particularly those in Makkah consider Haj the perfect time to generate an income.
Mohammed Al Yami, an economic expert, said sales around the Grand Mosque are up 300 percent during the pilgrimage season.
He said high rent charges have forced retailers to make every effort to attract pilgrims to their stores.
The shops and commercial centers in Makkah are inundated by large numbers of pilgrims buying gifts and souvenirs from the holy places.
Mirza stressed the need for a new industrial city in Makkah to replace its current location in a small residential area.
"The establishment of a new industrial city is urgently needed to encourage industry in a market where Haj and Umrah seasons are so important," he said.
Mirza offered the support of the chamber to the Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal for his "Made in Makkah" project offering products made in the region rather than imported from abroad.
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