Increase in the cost of Hajj up to 300% in 2022
Increase in the cost of Hajj up to 300% in 2022 was one of the most important news about Hajj this year. But what is behind this hike in price?
Perhaps we can say that one of the most important news about this year's Hajj, is the increase in the cost of Hajj by 300%.
This became even sad when this Rise in the prices of the Hajj pilgrimage was announced too late, leading to the dissatisfaction of many Muslims in different countries.
In this report, we will try to examine the reasons for the increase in the cost and the response of Muslims in different countries.
1. It was late to announce the news of the Raising the price of visiting the Kaaba by Saudi Arabia!
2. Exact details of the increase in the cost of Hajj in 2022.
3. Protests and reactions of Muslims to the unprecedented price change by Saudi Arabia.
4. Examining the reasons for the Hajj price increase from the experts' point of view.
Increase in the cost of Hajj without prior notice? There is no way back!
Just a few days left, before sending pilgrims to the Land of Revelation, without any prior notice, Saudi Arabia announced a Hike in the cost of Hajj-ul-Tamattu by 300%, which has been met with protests from many countries.
While two years after the Covid-19 pandemic, the chance of holding the Hajj rituals has been provided for the Muslims of the world to go to the land of revelation once again, the Saudi organizers of this pilgrimage, in an unexpected and unannounced move, increased the cost of Hajj by 300% under the pretext of increasing prices, which led to the protest from many Muslims around the world.
Usually, the Saudi authorities announced the expenses of the pilgrims three months before the Hajj rituals, including the cost of slaughterhouses, tents, transportation facilities, hotels, sacrificial animals, etc. But this year, this did not happen, and only 4 days before the start of sending pilgrims to the Land of Revelation to perform rituals, the Saudis announced the raise the price of Hajj expenses by 300%.
This action of Saudi Arabia has caused the dissatisfaction of Muslims, raising two questions in their minds:
1. Why was the Rise in the prices to visit Kaaba announced late? Many experts believe that Saudi Arabia did this without prior notice, leaving Muslims with no choice.
2. Saudi Arabia declared the reason for this increase in the cost to be the rising prices and inflation all over the world, but have we had a 4-fold increase in costs since the start of Corona?
How much is the Hajj-ul-Tamattu price increase in 2022 exactly?
The figure that the Saudis have announced for each pilgrim shows an increase of 1,164 dollars, which means the cost of observing Hajj for each pilgrim amounts to more than five thousand dollars on average, an action that surprised all Islamic countries and made some countries decrease their number of pilgrims and in some cases even some countries demanded to ban such Hajj.
The protests of the countries against a Hike in the cost of Hajj-ul-Tamattu and call for banning it
This decision by Saudi Arabia was met with widespread protests by many Muslims in countries around the world such as Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Jordan, India, Pakistan, Maghreb, Gaza, occupied Palestine, South Africa, etc.
In South Africa, an extraordinary meeting will be held by social activists as well as the Council of Islamic Religious Scholars to protest against this decision.
Yusuf Abramjee, a social activist living in South Africa, says: “The time to perform the Hajj rituals has arrived, but the pilgrims are very upset because of the increase in prices by the Saudis.”
Emphasizing that Saudi Arabia cannot impose these heavy costs on Muslims, this social activist adds: “These decisions have affected not only the Muslims of South Africa but also the Muslims in other parts of the world, making Hajj difficult for many of them.”
He points out: “We demand an immediate response and a convincing explanation from the Saudis for this price hike, and we have written to the Saudi authorities in this regard, but they have not responded to any of the letters sent from various organizations, including the Hajj and Umrah councils and pilgrimage tours.”
Earlier, the Muslims of Maghreb, Gaza Strip, Occupied Palestine, India, and Pakistan also protested the decision of the Saudis for the significant increase in the cost of issuing Hajj visas and providing services to pilgrims.
The syndicate of travel agencies in Egypt, protesting the Raising the price of visiting the Kaaba rituals by the Saudis, announced that it has decided to boycott Hajj and Umrah trips.
The Egyptian tourist syndicate pointed out that it has formed a committee in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of this country and is trying to send the committee to Saudi Arabia so that it may be able to convince the organizers to change their decision.
Meanwhile, some Egyptian tourism companies have also urged not to send Egyptian pilgrims to Hajj, however, the syndicate of travel agencies in this country has announced that it is currently waiting for the response of the correspondence with the Saudi authorities.
The strictness of Saudi Arabia for holding this year's Hajj rituals does not end here, but the organizing committee has considered other conditions for the pilgrims, one of these conditions is the age limit, thus, people over 65 years of age are prohibited from going to Hajj, also pilgrims must be vaccinated with the only vaccines approved by the kingdom.
Regardless of the age and vaccination requirements imposed by the Saudis, the most important challenge the pilgrims are facing this year is the Hike in the expenses of Hajj, which is not only due to the increase in the cost of services, rather it is rooted in the Saudi budget deficit and its back-breaking costs in the Yemen war.
What is behind the increase in the cost of Hajj by 300%
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which owns the largest economy in the Arab world, approved the country's 2022 budget, although it claimed no budget deficit, the truth is that the country is suffering economically due to the costs of the war in Yemen and the adventurous ambitions of the crown prince, "Mohammed bin Salman", the consequences of the pandemic and the fall in oil prices.
The Yemen war has cost Saudi Arabia 200 million dollars a day, that is, 72 billion dollars in seven years and 504 billion dollars in total. This is just a part of the financial costs and does not include casualties and humanitarian costs.
A look at Bin Salman's seven-year career since he was first elected as the Minister of Defense and then as the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia shows that Bin Salman's miscalculations have led Saudi Arabia towards economic bankruptcy during these years.
The International Monetary Fund's report on the financial situation of Saudi Arabia reveals that this country has spent 300 billion dollars of its financial reserves since the reign of Salman bin Abdulaziz, the current king of Saudi Arabia (since 2015), and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It should be noted that according to the report of these sources, it was spent on the war in Yemen, a figure that is equivalent to the budget of 18 years of the administration of countries such as Jordan and Tunisia.
This is only the cost of Bin Salman's war in Yemen. According to reports, Saudi Arabia has spent about 200 billion dollars in recent years to bring chaos to the countries of Syria, Iraq, and other countries in the region by equipping and arming terrorist groups. The Saudi regime has spent nearly 500 billion dollars of its oil revenues to militarize and strengthen extremist terrorism in the region.
International reports emphasize that during 2017, Saudi Arabia signed arms contracts worth 460 billion dollars only with the United States during the presidency of Donald Trump, and this is apart from the Saudis' arms purchases from their other western allies, such as England, France, Canada, etc., for which the Saudis are committed to purchasing large arms from each of them in exchange for international support from them in the Yemen war.
The ground situation of Saudi Arabia these days is quite different from the past. In the past years, Saudi Arabia used to give low-interest loans or free loans to other countries and had control over wars in the countries like Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen, due to large oil revenues, but now the conditions for the Saudis have changed and the desire for Petro-dollars has led the Saudis to take loans from international banks, with a huge deficit in their budget.
Apart from all this, there are two more factors, one is the Corona pandemic and the other is the two-year suspension of Hajj, which is considered the second most important source of income for Saudi Arabia, causing huge economic losses to the Saudis, and now that it has been possible to hold this ritual once again with the decrease in the coronavirus, the Saudis are trying to make up for the deficits of the last two years and the accumulated economic losses that have pushed this country to the brink of bankruptcy by increasing the price of Hajj by 300% on the one hand, and on the other hand, it continues to kill the Yemeni civilians.
This price increase is unprecedented in the history of Hajj. What do you think is the main reason?
News ID : 1029