King Salman pays sacrificial animal expenses for 3,322 pilgrims

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JEDDAH: Every year, markets in Saudi Arabia witness increased footfall as Hajj pilgrims look for souvenirs and gifts to commemorate the journey of a lifetime.

The gold market, especially in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah, thrives with its showcase of intricate designs, from traditional to contemporary styles, catering to diverse jewelry tastes.

Speaking to Arab News, Mohammed Akbar, a trader in Jeddah said: “During the Hajj season, we make it a point to showcase designs that cater to all nationalities. Pilgrims from diverse countries have a penchant for various types of gold.

The Ministry of Commerce recently sent inspection teams across Madinah, which conducted over 12,765 visits to commercial establishments and centers as part of its Hajj season operational plan to ensure pilgrims a safe shopping experience. (SPA)

“Buying gold is viewed as an investment, particularly by many Asian and African pilgrims, as they often find gold jewelry to be more affordable and of superior quality compared to what is available in their home countries. We expect an increase in gold sales this year.”

The rising price of gold has emerged as a significant trend, indicating the increasing demand and investment appeal of this valuable metal among pilgrims. As per traders, the rates for 21-carat gold are expected to range between SR250 ($66.6) to SR254 per gram, and SR267 per gram for 22-carat gold during the Hajj season.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Handcrafted goods, such as calligraphy art, prayer beads, and intricately designed prayer rugs, serve as tangible reminders of the sacred journey undertaken by pilgrims.

• Buying gold is viewed as an investment by some pilgrims, as they find Kingdom’s gold jewelry to be more affordable and of superior quality, says Jeddah trader.

Beyond gold purchases, the market for Hajj souvenirs includes an array of items with Islamic motifs. Handcrafted goods, such as calligraphy art, prayer beads, and intricately designed prayer rugs, serve as tangible reminders of the sacred journey undertaken by pilgrims. These souvenirs not only hold sentimental value but also serve as meaningful gifts to loved ones back home.

The Ministry of Commerce recently sent inspection teams across Madinah, which conducted over 12,765 visits to commercial establishments and centers as part of its Hajj season operational plan to ensure pilgrims a safe shopping experience. (SPA)

Mohammed Dossary, an Egyptian pilgrim attending Hajj with his family, said: “This is my second Hajj pilgrimage, but the first with my family. During my previous visit, I only brought simple gifts such as sweets, prayer mats, nuts and toys for the children. However, this time I have noticed a significant change — every shop now offers unique items with a wider range of options.

“Near my hotel, there is a perfume store that personalizes perfumes in 50ml bottles by engraving names on them. We purchased two dozen of these customized perfumes for our family members.”

Waleed Jabir from Oman expressed his surprise at the changes in the markets and price increases. “I am taken aback by the increase in prices across the board. Miswak, previously priced at two riyals, now cost SR15 due to their organic nature and the introduction of modern packaging with a reusable safe case,” he said.

Jabir added that the variety of toys available has also expanded, noting that he purchased Islamic quiz flash cards, board games, and a toy laptop that contains the entire Qur’an recorded on it.

Saleh Mohammed, who owns a shop near Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, said: “Every pilgrim desires distinctive souvenirs such as silverware, precious stones, intricately crafted jewelry, handwoven textiles, or dates. Selling just a single piece of silverware brings in a substantial amount.

“Additionally, engraving names on prayer mats is a service frequently requested by pilgrims. In a society where material goods can lose their significance, these souvenirs are often cherished as lasting memories.”

 

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