Umrah costs to fall


The cost of services to Haj and Umrah pilgrims is likely to fall considerably this year, according to a senior official of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The changed regulations under the new Umrah system, which came into effect on April 25, will also help create more jobs for young Saudis in service sectors related to pilgrimage and tourism, said Khalil Bahader, vice president of the chamber's tourism and housing sub-committee, a report said.

The permission to perform Umrah year-round will help bring down the cost of Haj and Umrah services while new rules allowing pilgrims to visit other areas of the Kingdom, are expected to increase tourism on a national basis, said Bahader, who also heads the White Castle Hotels group in Makkah.