As tensions rise in Syria and Iraq, Egyptian buses seem to be the only ride pilgrims have left.
Domestic pilgrimage companies have signed contracts with Egyptian companies due to the immobility of Turkish vehicles coming through the war-torn companies.
The reduced number of domestic pilgrims, numbering about 105,000, need around 2,100 buses, said Saad Jameel Al-Qurashi, chairman of the transportation committee and a member of the Board of Directors at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
Al-Qurashi explained that another 820 buses will be needed for around 41,000 people who will be coming with the low-cost pilgrimage program. The new procedure will also be economically efficient, as Egyptian buses are much cheaper than their Turkish counterparts.
An Egyptian bus costs SR20,000 to SR25,000 to rent out with a driver, while Turkish vehicle ranges between SR22,000 and SR30,000. Saudi buses, meanwhile, were out of the competition, with a soaring rental rate of anywhere between SR35,000 and SR50,000 per bus.
Al-Qurashi, nevertheless, said that Egyptian buses must abide by transport authority regulations and will arrive through the Duba and Nuwaibi ports.
Around 25,000 to 30,000 pilgrims will fly on eleven Saudia flights.
Pilgrims also arrive at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh and King Fahd International Airport in Dammam.
Source: Arab News