Haj cost: Gov’t to hold discussions with Makkah, Madinah hotel operators

PUTRAJAYA – The Malaysian government and the Pilgrim Fund Board (TH) will soon hold discussions with Makkah and Madinah hotel operators on room rates in an effort to control or reduce the cost of performing Haj this year.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar said  the Saudi Arabian government is not responsible for the increase in hotel rates in Makkah and Madinah, as informed by its Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Tawfiq Fawzan Al-Rabia recently.

“Tawfiq Fawzan said that he has no jurisdiction over the hotel rates and that we will have to deal directly with the hotel owners there,” he told the media after announcing the Federal Territory’s total zakat collection and distribution for 2022 here today.

On Jan 16 the media reported that the cost of performing Haj for muassasah pilgrims this year is expected to increase to about RM31,000, an increase of about RM2,368 compared to RM28,632 per pilgrim last season.

On the increase in the cost of performing Umrah of up to RM10,000 compared to about RM7,000 previously, Mohd Na’im said it was possibly due to the hike in hotel rates in Saudi Arabia.

As such, he proposed that the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (MOTAC), which is involved in regulating Umrah travel agencies, to hold discussions on the matter with hotel operators in Saudi Arabia. – Bernama / pic TMR File