When the high cost of fees prevents Moroccans from making their pilgrimage

Hajj fees for pilgrims supervised by the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs have been set at 63,800 dirhams, pocket money not included, according to the ministry in charge of the operation. A sum that has been strongly criticized and denounced by Internet users on social networks since the costs have risen by more than 17,000 dh in comparison with the last season of Hajj 2018. Some Moroccans, whose means are limited, have even given up on it. to go.

In 2018, the Hajj fee for Moroccan pilgrims was set at 46,551.25 dh. For the 2019 draw, postponed to this year 2022 following its suspension due to the pandemic, the fees rose to 63,800 dh, which prompted many citizens to wonder about the reasons for these increases and the beneficiaries of the funds. paid by pilgrims. On social networks, and faced with this large amount, Internet users have even estimated that the Hajj will become an exclusive for “haves”.

According to information issued by the Saudi authorities in charge of the Hajj, the fees paid by the pilgrims include the cost of basic services and additional services, transport, a Morocco-Saudi Arabia round-trip plane ticket, accommodation , and the cost of performing rituals. Pocket money is not included in the 63,800 dh fixed by the competent authorities, so the cost of Hajj for Moroccan pilgrims will be even higher.

According to available information, the amount of Hajj expenses is determined by the Saudi authorities. The Moroccan Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs has no connection with the costs. The expenses paid by the pilgrims are disbursed in exchange for the services they receive upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia, with the exception of the price of the ticket which goes to the Moroccan company Royal Air Maroc, which provides the transfer flights of the Moroccan pilgrims. towards Mecca.

The return plane ticket from Morocco to Saudi Arabia alone fluctuates between 11 and 12,000 dirhams, while the rest of the amount of Hajj expenses is spread over other services, including accommodation, meals at the hotel, and transportation.

Thus, the transport companies are responsible for providing a transport service to the pilgrims from their arrival at the airport of Jeddah, Aieroport international Roi-Abdelaziz. They are then transported directly to Mecca, as well as to other places where Hajj rituals are performed by pilgrims in addition to religious visits. The service also includes transportation of pilgrims, round trip, from Mecca to Medina.

Also included are the cost of a travel visa to Saudi Arabia and health insurance, according to information obtained by MoroccoLatestNews.

In view of these data, the amount of Hajj fees paid by Moroccan pilgrims who travel as part of the mission supervised by the Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs has become closer to the maximum amount paid by pilgrims who choose to pass. by travel agencies. Information confirmed by the owner of an agency in Agadir who declared that the difference does not exceed 3,000 dirhams.

In a statement to MoroccoLatestNews, this travel agency owner confirmed that the amount of Hajj fees paid by pilgrims traveling through agencies varies by product. The higher the price, the better the quality of service provided, he said, adding that one of the reasons for this spike in Hajj fees at travel agencies is value added tax ( VAT).

Thus, the increase in the Hajj expenses fee this year will automatically lead to the increase in the total expenses that will ultimately be paid by the pilgrims if the performance of Hajj rituals are counted in addition to spending money.

As usual in Morocco, pilgrims often return with gifts for their children and loved ones as souvenirs, in addition to the small ceremony they organize on their return from Mecca. This means that the amount spent by the pilgrims in the end can reach up to 80,000 dh or more, which has prompted several Moroccans to give up.

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