Refleksi : Di Indonesia harga sembako meningkat menjelang Ramadhan, di Makkah 
harga bermalam di hotel juga tidak ketinggalan naik. Jadi hari raya agama 
sangat baik bagi laba para pebisnis, laba bisa dilipatgandakan. Hukum 
berdasarkan wahyu Allah  tidak diberlakukan oleh pebisnis beriman, tetapi hukum 
dagang duniawi atas prinsip permintaan dan penawaran diaplikasikan.

Dunia ini memang bergairah ajaib dalam menarik fulus sekalipun hari raya agama.

High Umrah prices caused by hotels in Makkah
Published Date: August 03, 2010 
By Ahmad Saeid, Staff Writer 

KUWAIT: A number of travel agents in Kuwait have blamed the reported steep rise 
in the prices of Ramadan Umrah packages this year on an increase in 
accommodation prices in Makkah. The prices rose noticeably prior to the holy 
month of Ramadan, when Umrah is seen as being especially important in Islam. 
The agents in Kuwait said that the exorbitant hotel tariffs are causing Umrah 
prices to skyrocket, explaining that the hoteliers may be attempting to 
compensate for the losses they incurred during last year's Umrah season, caused 
by the fears over the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic.

Adel Al-Najjar from the Abraj Al-Kuwait travel agency said that the demand this 
year is clearly higher than last year, with the prices following this increased 
demand. "Last year big losses were incurred due to the swine flu pandemic, and 
this year prices have gone very high; while everyone is blaming us for that, 
they don't know that we have to increase prices, we can't do anything about it 
- these are the prices as they come from Makkah," he said.

Al-Najjar explained that this year's prices are not only higher than last year, 
but also than the year before, with the demand steadily increasing. Ayman 
Al-Zaoubi of Al-Dar Al-Alamiya travel agency agreed: "Umrah is becoming 
increasingly popular every year, and it's not only because the H1N1 pandemic 
fears have disappeared, but I think it's because people are becoming more 
devout over the last few years," he suggested.

Al-Zaoubi added, however, that the high prices are limited to those hotels 
around the Holy Mosque in Makkah. "In Kuwait they want a hotel two steps away 
from the Holy Mosque and one night there in the middle of Ramadan costs around 
KD 400," he said. "I have one hotel that's 1,500 meters away, but no one is 
willing to book into it, even though the prices are considerably cheaper there.

Al-Zaoubi said that some travel agencies in Kuwait have had to accept lower 
profits just to make prices more attractive to customers. "The high 
accommodation prices are putting us on a very tight profit margin," he said, 
adding "The Kuwait Travel and Tourism Agencies Association should have 
discussed these issues and come up with a way to deal with the fact that hotels 
are taking advantage of the season, but no one did anything yet." The agents 
all expressed hope that their voices would reach hotel owners in Makkah, who 
might reconsider their extremely high prices for this Umrah season. 


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