Riyadh: After travel operators doubled the price of Umrah pilgrim's tour package, pilgrimage fares have soared here. Tour fares reached SR200 from SR110, and it is expected to triple the regular price because of the Ramadan season, Arab News reported.
There is a hike in domestic air tickets also.
The fares will be the highest in Qiyam Al-Layl, the last ten days of Ramadan and touch SR300, according to tour operators Riyadh.
One of them told Arab News that the tour package prices rise because of the rush during the Ramadan season when pilgrims wish to spend time in the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. Operators also added that there is an increase in VAT to 15 per cent, which also fueled the fare hike.
Umrah tour fares always rise during the Ramadan season, and it was SR200 in 2019. For the next two years, there were lockdowns and subsequent restrictions.
Grand Mosque of Makkah has allowed full capacity after authorities lifted Covid-19 restrictions last month.
A pilgrim told Arab News that the weekend trip to Makkah and Madinah starts at 4:00 in the afternoon on Thursday and ends at Saturday midnight, and for this, operators are charging SR200 against SR100-110 in the offseason.
During the trip, buses stop at three points for Maghreb and Isha prayers and dinner. Pilgrims could change into Ihram at Meeqat and later perform Subahi prayers in Makkah.