RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced to extend pilgrim facilities to boost revenues in order to reduce its dependence on revenue generated from oil sector.
The decision was taken due to slight decrease in the crude oil price in recent months through which country generated its 80% revenue.
IMF also warned Saudi Arabia to stop heavily relying on oil sector which is abruptly being affected in recent months.
It is estimated that at least two million foreign pilgrims visits Holy City of Makkah for Hajj each year.
Economist Abdullah claimed that $5.3 billion to $6.1 billion revenue is generated every year from foreign pilgrims during Hajj .
He said “About 40 percent of this revenue comes from housing, 15 percent from gifts, 10 percent from food and the remainder from other services.”
The pilgrim industry is the 2nd largest revenue generating industry of the country and the foreign pilgrim figure is expected to reach 2.7 million by 2020.
As per report, tourism sector contributes $22.6 billion and Hajj and Umrah provides $12 billion to Saudi Arabia’s GDP.
Economists claimed that expected growth in pilgrim sector will be a potential to the country’s economy and it will provide employment to Saudi nation.