Umrah pilgrims can expect to save between 10 and 15 percent on the cost of their hotels under a new electronic booking system that cuts out intermediaries according to Abdullah Qadi, deputy president of the national committee for Haj and Umrah at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
Qadi said the system would make hotel bookings more efficient. He was speaking during a meeting at the MCCI with Umrah operators and the Sajjil Company, the firm responsible for operating the system. Qadi also said the Kingdom is likely to see a 25 percent rise in the number of pilgrims this season. There were a record six million people who performed Umrah last year. The meeting saw participants briefed on the provision of Umrah services through the system including how to register and make reservations. The system became operational at the start of Safar on November 13 and is aimed at facilitating hotel room reservations between Umrah firms and the Ministry of Haj.
“Saudi Umrah firms and hotels will benefit greatly by moving to this electronic system. The whole process will become easier and faster. It will allow bookings in a matter of seconds compared to the previous 24-hour period required,” he said.
He said the new system would guarantee the rights of all parties without the meddling of brokers, and those who were taking money to make fake reservations. Firms would have to ensure they are properly accredited and paid their fees to access the system.