The Hajj and Umrah sector is among the investment pillars besides the religious on which Saudi Arabia relies to develop its national income and stimulate the internal trade movement in the country, as this sector contributes more than 10 billion dollars annually on average, and sometimes reaches 12 billion dollars in the Kingdom’s economy, and from that standpoint it launched Authorities The “Nusuk” platform, which is the first official Saudi platform that gives you the option to plan and book for Hajj and Umrah.
It allows travelers from all over the world to easily organize and plan all the details of their visit, from applying for an e-Visa to booking hotels and flights. Here, when we look at the matter from the investment side, we must note that this platform can play an important and constructive role in establishing commercial and investment bridges with emerging companies in the country, and using the services of entrepreneurs, especially since Nusuk can open the door for commercial cooperation in front of various companies that It operates in several commercial fields such as hospitality, transportation, food and beverages, financial technology, and ready-made clothing, in addition to providing more job opportunities for many national talents and attracting various foreign skills through the investment opportunities that can be provided by cooperation between the platform and emerging local companies.
Launch of the “Nusuk” platform
Last September, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced the launch of the unified government platform “Nusuk”, to be the new Saudi portal for those visiting Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, with the aim of developing the experience of the guests of Rahman, and facilitating the procedures for their coming to perform Umrah and visiting from all over the world, as part of the initiatives The Guests of Rahman Service Program – one of the Saudi Vision 2030 programs – where the platform provides a wide range of services and information for pilgrims and visitors that enable them to perform the rituals of Umrah easily and easily, and contribute to raising the level of quality of services provided, and enriching their religious and cultural experience, and it is launched in cooperation and partnership with the Saudi Tourism Authority.
It enables those wishing to perform Umrah or visit to issue the necessary visas and permits, book packages and programs electronically, in addition to a set of other services that will be provided later, including interactive maps, a calendar dedicated to offers and activities, a digital guide for all instructions in several languages, health information and services, as well as enabling health providers. Services from offering their services electronically to pilgrims and visitors.
Abdulaziz Al-Nahabi,” the founder of the company, agrees with that. eJourney, which is based in Saudi Arabia and offers programs for religious tourism, which explains to Wamda that Nusuk connects companies and service providers to an international audience, giving them immediate access to the market. Today, as a service provider, you can shift your entire focus towards perfecting the business model, marketing, customer journey, service quality, and operations, without the heavy burden of building and maintaining a sales channel.
Several days ago, the Minister of Hajj and Umrah in the Kingdom, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, announced in statements reported by Al-Arabiya that the platform currently offers more than 121 various services to facilitate the procedures for the arrival of pilgrims from all over the world, and pointed out that “Nusuk” provides 75 services. for the business sector, and about 45 services for the individual sector, revealing that the platform aims to provide its services to more than 30 million people, in cooperation with more than 10 thousand entities in the business sector, and linkage and integration with 25 government agencies..
Bilal Shabib, founder of the companybigitec He says: “Nusuk is an exciting and important step towards simplifying services for Hajj and Umrah travelers. We strongly believe that startups like us can provide real value through modern technology, so The platform can become a major hub for services and products produced by startups in order to improve the quality and performance of the pilgrims’ journey.”
The platform was able to cooperate with a number of various religious tourism companies in the Kingdom and provided multiple programs and packages for various categories of pilgrims and Umrah performers, as it started with economic packages starting from 830 Saudi riyals, and if it succeeded in cooperating more with Saudi startups, especially those operating in sectors related to Hajj and Umrah products. It can offer more diversified packages and contribute to the introduction of more services to the platform such as providing internet services for visitors, communications of all kinds, and electronic payment, in addition to diversifying places of residence and means of transportation, and providing packages of gifts and souvenirs that the pilgrims accept to buy, and thus the platform will succeed in operating The largest number of emerging local companies, reducing expenses to the maximum extent, raising the efficiency of local labor, while providing more job opportunities for young people.
To confirm the founder eJourney The multiplicity of markets and the distinguished vision are the main invaluable advantages of Nusuk, which every company in the Hajj and Umrah sector should benefit from. This was also confirmed by Shabib, who indicated that, as a startup with limited reach and simple resources, cooperation with The ritual of reaching our target audience is essential to success. We believe that the platform can become a great hub for valuable innovative products and services that will benefit visitors to the Two Holy Mosques.
The religious tourism economy
The study “The Economics of Religious Tourism (Hajj) and its Impact on the Saudi Economy”, published by the “Balarch” Journal of Archeology, in 2021, showed that the economy of religious tourism – Hajj and Umrah – can have a strong impact on the Saudi economy, as reducing dependence on oil means The state will get more income from a variety of sources and increase job opportunities. As a result, the gross national income will increase, and because it is an economic indicator of development, the country will attract foreign investors who will inject more revenue into the economy, thus contributing to growth and development, and with the increasing number of incoming visitors, the cities of Makkah and Madinah focus on developing investments in the coming years, especially In the sectors of real estate, the hospitality industry and other infrastructure projects that will support the growing number of visitors who travel to Makkah for Hajj, as this sector contributes to about 7% of the Kingdom’s GDP.
Back “Abdulaziz” FoundereJourney He points out that, contrary to popular belief, the Hajj and Umrah market is a vast ocean, as it severely lacks local representation and specialized expertise, as the size of that market reached $150 billion in 2022, and is likely to exceed $350 billion by 2032, according to for Future Market Insights).
Religious tourism has contributed greatly to the growth and development of the economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as pilgrims and pilgrims come from different parts of the world, which means that they will have to pay for food and housing, in return, they bring foreign income that helps improve the country’s foreign reserves. It also creates short-term job opportunities that help improve people’s lives in Saudi Arabia, and studies indicate that revenues abroad from Hajj amount to $12 billion, so the expected income from the religious tourism sector increased between 2019 and the expected year 2030, from $10 billion in 2022 to $18 billion by 2030, which confirms that a platform such as “NSK” can play an effective role in building a bridge between it and startups and entrepreneurs that enable them to develop their investments and the services they provide through their companies, which is positively reflected in the development of the Kingdom’s national income. and increase its employment opportunities.
If we take a quick look at the Kingdom’s estimated budget during the year 2023, we will discover that the positive estimates of the Saudi economy for the fiscal year 2023 reflect real GDP growth of 3.1%, supported by the growth of the GDP of non-oil activities. This indicates that the private sector continues to lead economic growth and contribute to increasing the creation of job opportunities in the local market, as it is expected that the total revenues for the fiscal year 2023 will reach about 1,123 billion Saudi riyals, to rise to about 1,205 billion Saudi riyals in Fiscal year 2025, as a result of the contribution of non-oil revenues related to economic activity, most notably Hajj and Umrah, and related sectors such as wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels supported by the high rates of pilgrims and Umrah performers, so that exports of non-oil goods grow by 43% by the end of the second quarter of the fiscal year 2022 compared to the year Fiscal 2021.
The “Nusuk” platform is a golden opportunity for Saudi startups, through which entrepreneurs and official bodies can achieve broad investment and societal gains. It can also provide more services to pilgrims and visitors to the Kingdom at competitive prices and easy and simple procedures, so that this platform will be a bridge for effective and effective cooperation between Young investors in the Kingdom and its various economic institutions are ultimately reflected in the development of the country’s national economy and its national income.
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