7 facts about Hajj's impact on Saudi Arabia's economy

Every year, millions of pilgrims from around the world trek to Mecca to complete the Hajj - the sacred pilgrimage that all Muslims must complete in their lifetime. The Hajj presents massive economic opportunities for Saudi Arabia's tourism and travel industry. Here's a look at some interesting facts about the Hajj economy:

The pilgrimage is performed from the 8th to the 12th of the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar (Dhu al-Hijjah) and coincides with the holiday of Eid al-Adha, which follows Ramadan, the month of fasting.

According to estimates, Hajj and the Umrah pilgrimage (which can be performed at any time of the year) add an estimated $12 billion a year to Saudi's GDP, which is the second largest revenue generator for Saudi Arabia after hydrocarbons. That's about 20% of the kingdom's non-oil GDP and 7% of total GDP.

Saudi Arabia sets so-called Hajj quotas on the basis of an international Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) agreement, allowing 1,000 pilgrims per million of the total Muslim population in each sending country.
The Hajj industry is probably one of Saudi Arabia's most valuable treasures due to the money it generates for Mecca and Medina, and the wider Hajj logistical train.

According to  the Mecca Chamber of Commerce, the average foreign Hajj pilgrim spends around $5,000-$6,500 over the course of his or her time in the Kingdom. Of which, 75-80% of the total amount is spent on accommodation, food, gifts & communication.

Around 47% of the total pilgrims from India were women this year. This was after the Haj Committee of India implemented the Saudi government's relaxation, which allowed women over the age of 45 to go for Hajj unaccompanied by a male kin.
The Indian government has withdrawn a subsidy given to Indian Muslim Hajj pilgrims in form of discounted air fares or non-airfare assistance.
Between 2012 and 2017, a total of 671,388 Muslims have gone on Hajj pilgrimage through the Haj Committee of India (HCOI) and  212,490 through Private Tour Operators (PTOs).