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November 6, 2020, 09.36 PM – Indonesian Muslims will have to spend more on purchasing umrah packages with prices for the Islamic pilgrimage significantly increasing during the pandemic.

Zaky Anshary, Umrah Division Head for the Association of Indonesia Haj and Umrah Organizers, said that the minimum price was set at Rp 26 million based on the latest negotiations with the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs.

The package price includes three-star accommodation, flight tickets with transits, and three PCR tests.

Read also: Saudi Arabia to Resume ‘Umrah’ Pilgrimage from October

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, umrah packages in Indonesia were approximately Rp 20 million.

Higher prices expected

Zaky said that the Rp 26 million package price is not final because the Saudi government requires incoming pilgrims to stay at either a four-star or five-star hotel during their stay.

To satisfy the regulation then Indonesians eager to undertake an umrah pilgrimage may need to spend Rp 32 million – Rp 35 million.

The expected price surge also includes a direct flight to Saudi Arabia to fulfill another Saudi government regulation for pilgrims during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read also: Indonesia’s Airport Operator: First 253 Umrah Pilgrims Follow Health Protocols

“It is likely that the minimum price of Rp 26 million will change because it does meet the accommodation conditions required by Saudi Arabia.”

Other factors pushing prices up

Mandatory adjustments concerning umrah operations in Saudi Arabia involve limiting the number of individuals on buses to 20-22 pilgrims from the previous 48-50 per bus.

The maximum number of people allowed per room has been slashed to two pax from a previous four in addition to a 30 percent increase in hotel tax in the Middle Eastern country.

“The tour guides can no longer be an Indonesian national, it must be a citizen of Saudi Arabia which will lead to more expensive prices.”

Read also: Turkey and Saudi Arabia Top Destinations for Indonesian Travelers during Pandemic

The first group of Indonesian pilgrims departing for their umrah pilgrimage amid the coronavirus pandemic left on November 1.

(Writer: Nabilla Ramadhian | Editor: Kahfi Dirga Cahya)


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