Black market thrives as Haj missions fail to find housing

By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA | ARAB NEWS

MAKKAH: With only three weeks before the Haj starts, a number of Haj missions have failed to secure suitable accommodation for their pilgrims in Makkah, sources involved in providing pilgrimage services said on Monday.

They claimed some missions were trying to control the real estate business by providing accommodation on the black market to gain money for themselves.

The sources said pilgrims from various countries have refused to accept the buildings chosen for them by their Haj missions because they were either unsuitable or far away from the Grand Mosque.

They said the Ministry of Haj had to intervene to provide these pilgrims with accommodation and meals after their own missions failed to do so.

The sources, however, believed that the problems would be eliminated next year, as the responsibility for allocating accommodation would be assigned to the Tawafa establishments.

“A number of buildings chosen by some Haj missions were not convenient for their pilgrims. They either lacked proper facilities, not spacious enough or were far away from the Grand Mosque,” said Zuhair Saddaio, chairman of the board of directors of the Tawafa establishment for Southeast Asian pilgrims.

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Categories: Asia, Economics, Saudi Arabia

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