UK body criticises Saudi Hajj package pricing

Association of British Hujjaj labels package prices "a total rip-off"

An aerial view shows the Kaaba at the Grand mosque in the holy city of Makkah. (AFP/Getty Images)
An aerial view shows the Kaaba at the Grand mosque in the holy city of Makkah. (AFP/Getty Images)

An organisation working for the wellbeing of hajj and Umrah pilgrims from the UK is calling for action to stop their "financial exploitation" when buying package to visit Saudi Arabia.

The Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK (ABH) has voiced its concern regarding what it calls the "extortionate increase" in Hajj package prices demanded by operators.

The main pilgrimage season begins in October this year but hundreds of thousands also visited the kingdom during the holy month of Ramadan.

A statement read: "It is highly regrettable that these service providers do not have any regard and respect for the values and teachings of Islam.

"They are preying on vulnerable pilgrims including sick, elderly and the disabled cheating and charging them at extortionate and unjustified prices for the Hajj & Umrah packages and the profits made by these service providers are absolutely outrageous."

The association did not give any specific details regarding price hikes but called them "a total rip-off".

The statement added: "This situation has worsened significantly in the last few years to such an extent that the Muslim Ummah is now looking towards the Custodian of the two Holy mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to take stern action to stop financial exploitation of millions of pilgrims from around the world by these unscrupulous service providers.

"It is vital that the Kingdom makes every effort to eradicate the corruption, malpractice and exploitation."

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