Fewer Egyptian pilgrims in Ramadan due to dollar price
Muslim pilgrims perform prayers in Arafat during the annual haj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca - Reuters

CAIRO: The number of Egyptians heading to Mecca for a minor pilgrimage in Ramadan has decreased from last year due to the “frenzied rise of the dollar exchange rate,” Youm7 quoted head of the Religious Tourism Committee Basel al-Sisi as saying Friday.

The dollar crisis led to pilgrimage program prices that cannot be afforded by a large segment of the society, said Sisi, a member of the Tourism Companies Chamber. Ramadan coincides with June 6 this year.

The trip to Mecca for minor pilgrimage (Umrah) costs 14,000-25,000 with an increase of about 5,000 from last year, Sisi said, adding that some companies have tried to maintain last year’s prices by reducing services.

The depreciation of the Egyptian pound against the U.S. dollar has resulted in increased fewer imports by the private sector, such as meat imports. The government has promised the crisis will not affect basic commodities.

The Egyptian pound registered 10.95 against $1 on Friday in a sharp increase from the past few months.

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