MAKKAH: Although the pilgrimage is more than seven months away, Haj missions and real estate brokers have started reserving residential buildings and hotels for pilgrims, local daily Al-Watan reported Thursday, quoting the real estate committee chairman of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“The missions and the brokers have so far made a down payment of SR900 million to reserve over 7,000 buildings and hotels, whose value is expected to be more than SR7 billion,” Mansour Abu Rayash said.
He said the favorite areas for the accommodation of pilgrims are the central area around the Grand Mosque, Kudai, Al-Aziziyah, Al-Shisha and Al-Maabdah districts.
Abu Rayash said the Haj missions were keen to reserve accommodations for their pilgrims at an early date and were mainly focusing on the central area, which is very expensive. “It may cost SR7,000 to accommodate a single pilgrim in this particular area, which is very close to the Haram,” he explained.
According to him, pilgrims may pay from SR2,000 to SR5,000 for accommodation in other areas, depending on proximity to the Grand Mosque.
The chairman expected a big number of buildings would be rented this year in the areas of Al-Adl, Jabal Al-Nur, Al-Moaisim, Al-Salamah and Al-Nuzha because of the ongoing development projects in the central area including the first ring road, for which more than 1,800 housing units were confiscated and demolished.
Abu Rayash said about 20 percent of the building owners had already signed contracts for the accommodation of pilgrims and received down payments equivalent to 30 percent of the rent value.
According to building owners, the most favorable areas for pilgrims after the central area are Mahbas Al-Jin, Kudai, Ajyad and Al-Aziziyah, because they are not far from the Haram.
By ARAB NEWS
Published: Feb 23, 2012 23:59 Updated: Feb 24, 2012 16:01