Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK ABH a National organisation working for the welfare and wellbeing of Hajj/Umrah pilgrims welcomes the statements issued by Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Sheikh urging “the concerned Hajj/Umrah service providers to reduce the costs for the services they are providing to the pilgrims.”
It was a long awaited statement issued by a government minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Hajj/Umrah pilgrims from around the world are angry and frustrated about the obscene prices they are being charged for the services to enable them to fulfil their religious obligation. The persisting price hike of Hajj and Umrah packages is almost making it impossible for the vast majority of Muslims around the world to perform Hajj and Umrah.
The most alarming aspect of this growing culture of exploitation and corruption is that it has plagued the Hajj/Umrah service providers to the extent that is becoming a way of life. Values and norms have changed. The rogue and unscrupulous service providers have no hesitation to prey on vulnerable pilgrims including sick, elderly and disabled causing them immense hardship, mental anguish, trauma and difficulty. They take undue advantage of these pilgrims by charging extortionate prices for their services. It is a total rip-off compared to similar travel packages to other destinations around the world, taking into consideration that many pilgrims, including the disabled, elderly and sick are like to have spent their life-savings to fulfil their religious obligations.
ABH strongly urges the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and relevant authorities around the world to take this issue seriously and help and protect vulnerable and innocent Hajj/Umrah pilgrims by taking stern action against unscrupulous and rogue service providers.