Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Pilgrim air terminal planned for Kuala Lumpur airport

Pilgrims Saudi Malaysia Pixabay
Saudi Arabia is home to Islam’s holiest shrines, in Mecca and Medina
  • Saudi Arabia and Malaysia look at haj hub
  • Hope for two-way tourism boost
  • 13m overseas visitors a year to Mecca

Saudi Arabia and Malaysia are planning to build a pilgrimage air terminal in Kuala Lumpur to increase tourism numbers in both countries.

Malaysia’s transport minister Anthony Loke told an aviation industry forum in Riyadh that it was looking with the Saudi Arabian government into “building and establishing a Hajj and Umrah hub” in Kuala Lumpur together.

“We hope we can bring more tourists and travellers to Saudi Arabia and vice versa to Malaysia,” he said. 



Religious tourism is central to Saudi Arabia’s vast economic transformation plan, which is looking for tourism to account for 10 percent of GDP by 2030. The kingdom aims to register 150 million domestic and international journeys a year by 2030

Saudi Arabia is home to Islam’s holiest shrines, in Mecca and Medina, which receive pilgrims for the annual Hajj pilgrimage and the year-round pilgrimage known as Umrah. Of its 27 million international visitors in 2023, almost half of them came for religious reasons.

Malaysia, which itself has a Muslim majority, is only a short distance by sea from Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world. 

Loke said: “We have Malaysia Airlines operating throughout southeast Asia, and the strong low-cost carrier AirAsia, and good connectivity between Asean countries.”

The 10 members of Asean (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) have a combined population of more than 600 million and a policy of unrestricted flight routes between Asean states. 

Latest articles

More than 24 million people visited the World Expo event at Expo City Dubai between October 2021 and March 2022

Construction begins at Expo City Dubai site

Construction has begun on the first residential properties at Expo City Dubai, part of a mixed-use master plan to repurpose the legacy site after the world fair came to a close two years ago. Master developer Expo City Dubai announced last week that it has awarded four key contracts for its Mangrove Residences. UAE-based USF […]

Saudi housing costs rose nearly 9% year on year in May

Saudi housing costs rise but inflation remains steady

Housing costs in Saudi Arabia rose nearly 9 percent year on year in May, but it was not enough to push overall inflation in the kingdom over 2 percent. The latest data from the General Authority for Statistics showed the annual inflation rate in Saudi Arabia was 1.6 percent in May, having remained at this […]

OTB Group has a presence in Dubai with its Maison Margiela store in the Dubai Mall

Chalhoub Group in venture with Italian luxury brand

Luxury distributor Chalhoub Group has entered into a joint venture with Italian fashion conglomerate OTB Group to expand the brand’s footprint in the Gulf. OTB (which stands for Only The Brave) owns the Diesel, Jil Sander, Maison Margiela, Marni and Viktor&Rolf brands, the Staff International and Brave Kid companies, and holds a stake in the […]

Arid conditions brought about by the drought in Morocco are affecting the cost of sheep

Drought pushes up sheep price for Eid in Morocco

The price for a sheep in Morocco for the annual sacrifice at Eid al-Adha has increased on average at 10 times the 2.2 percent rate of inflation. A medium-sized female sheep costs MAD4000 ($400) as opposed to MAD3000 last year. This puts it out of range for many families in the country where a high […]