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Saudi nets $16.5bn from pilgrims

Nov 08 2012 11:56 AFP

Muslim pilgrims gather in their hundreds of thousands in Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage. (File, AP)

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Riyadh - Saudi Arabia raised $16.5bn from Muslim pilgrimages this year to Mecca and Medina in the west of the kingdom, a Saudi newspaper reported on Thursday.

Al-Hayat, citing religious tourism sources, said a total of 12 million pilgrims visited Islam's holiest sites during the annual hajj which took place this year at the end of October or for the year-long umra, or minor pilgrimage.

The pilgrims - including 3.1 million who made the hajj, including 1.7 million from abroad, according to official figures - spent 62bn riyals ($16.5bn), a rise of 10% over 2011 because of increased costs, it said.
mecca  |  hajj
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