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    Saudi's annual revenue from pilgrimage tops $30 billion - paper

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    Saudi Arabia's annual revenue from organizing pilgrimage to Islamic holy places tops $30 billion, an Arab newspaper reported

    Saudi Arabia's annual revenue from organizing pilgrimage to Islamic holy places tops $30 billion, an Arab newspaper reported on Sunday.

    "The figure covers travelling, accommodation and living expenses, as well as cost of animals for sacrifices," Gulf News, based in the United Arab Emirates, said.

    According to the paper, the average cost of sacrificed animals averages $130 per pilgrim. Other expenses include purchases of gifts and spending on telecommunications.

    Over two million Muslims have been visiting Mecca, Medina and other holy places in Saudi Arabia every Hajj season in recent years. Millions of Muslims also perform Umrah or "little pilgrimage" throughout the year, the paper said.

    Saudi Arabia's revenues from pilgrimage to Islamic holy places account for about 7% of the country's gross domestic product, Gulf News said.

    ABU-DHABI, November 29 (RIA Novosti) 

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