Precooked Meals for Pilgrims to Reach 40% in 2020

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Precooked meals will be increased by 30% in Hajj season 1440 AH (2019) as a partial replacement of cooked meals, said Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Ministry Undersecretary Dr. Hussein Al Sharif, expecting them to hit 40% by 2020.

"The catering sector is a promising project with many investment opportunities that Saudi entrepreneurs can utilize, especially as the projected expenditure by 2020 will reach SAR 20 billion and increase to SAR 47 billion by 2030," he added during 2nd edition of "Safqah" (Deal) forum, which was inaugurated Jan 21 in Makkah and organized by Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Al Sharif noted that, although there are challenges associated with catering sector during Hajj season, there are promising opportunities for entrepreneurs. For example, the sector will be supported by specialized vehicles for transporting precooked meals and offering them to pilgrims in a professional and hospitable manner, as well as many other creative ideas.

First Hajj and Umrah Business Accelerator

Hajj and Umrah minister Dr. Mohammad Benten stated that Hajj ministry is about to launch first Hajj and Umrah business accelerator to redirect relevant projects towards micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) led by male and female entrepreneurs, adding that "we have completed technical procedures and signed agreements with specialized companies to develop the quality of services."

One of "Safqah" objectives is to develop the entrepreneurship sector in the Holy Capital by reviewing opportunities and knowledge, and developing the services of tourism, Hajj and Umrah systems to support Ministry of Hajj and Umrah needs and Hajj and Umrah Guest Program highlighted in Kingdom's Vision 2030.

Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Abdul Fattah highlighted the investment opportunities in the sector which represent the complementary services to the basic ones, adding that the sector is a fertile environment for business and entrepreneurship, which needs creative ideas and keenness to prepare economic feasibility studies before starting the project.

Hajj and Umrah Guest Program manager Ramy Kensara said that there are many investment opportunities for male/female entrepreneurs in the field pilgrims' gifts, stressing that average expenditure of each pilgrim or Umrah performer on gifts reaches SAR 1000 riyals (266 US dollars), but they are imported ones not homemade. He called for localizing the gifts industry and benefiting such revenues in developing local innovative products.