KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The government, through the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, has set the floor price for a 12-day, 10-night umrah package at RM6,900.
The ministry, in a statement Sunday (Oct 17), said the price was set in line with current developments due to the increase in the cost of performing the umrah in complying with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by Saudi Arabian and Malaysian governments.
"The floor price will be reviewed when the Covid-19 outbreak is declared over and the situation has returned to normal where the SOP restrictions will no longer be implemented by the Malaysian and Saudi Arabian governments.
"This price is also a guide for the ministry in monitoring of the umrah industry, while the public can use it as a guide in choosing the company that suits their budget," it said.
According to the ministry, among factors affecting the increase in cost are the capacity of accommodation in Saudi Arabia, capacity on transport movement which allows 50% of the total actual capacity and management of mutawif, as well as Covid-19 swab tests.
It said the ministry had discussed with the relevant associations before setting the floor price of the umrah package, with the last one set in 2017 at RM4,900.
The ministry reminded the public to be wary of umrah package scams and to contact the state Tourism offices or browse the ministry's official website to obtain a list of companies that are licensed to organise umrah packages.
As an initiative to address umrah package scams, it said, the ministry had made it mandatory for licensed umrah operators to apply for permission to advertise umrah promotions.
"An advertisement that has been approved will be given a Special Serial Number which has to be displayed on the advertisement,” it said, adding that to date, the ministry has received 31 applications.
Application forms for the umrah package advertisement can be downloaded from the ministry's official website at www.motac.gov.my. - Bernama