Hajj pilgrims splash the cash at Mecca markets<2>

By haiyan144 - November 26th, 2010, 16:09, Category: General

Some will make enough money in these few days to live on for the rest of the year.

At one of Mecca's most famous markets, Souq Gaza, I instantly go into shopping mode.

Everywhere you look, someone is selling something.

Hajj haggling

Textiles are big business in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf, and Mr Sharif dismisses my concerns that prices are exaggerated during Hajj.

"This is a competition. Everyone wants to make money. Most of these people come and do the Hajj only once, so you either get them or you don't," he says.

"As you can see, many shops sell very similar products. If the customer is not satisfied with my prices, he goes elsewhere. That's why I always do discounts for this season."

Historically, Mecca has always been a commercial hub in the Arabian peninsula.

Located between two important trade centres - Lebanon and Syria in the north and Yemen in the south - it was always an essential trading stop.

This is still the case today. Trade is what people of Mecca do best.

Property deals

But today's noticeable boom in the holy city is not just a result of pilgrims buying trinkets at local



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