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Real Lead

Although millions of pilgrims travel to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina throughout the year, the period between Ramazan and Hajj is undoubtedly the peak season.

During this time, finding accommodation can prove to be a daunting task, since most hotels are booked well in advance. In fact, the demand for property is so high in these cities that real estate development there accounts for 40% of the total in Saudi Arabia.

According to Saudi law, foreign nationals cannot own property within Mecca and Medina; however, foreign nationals can now rent property there (as per the revised Saudi laws) for periods lasting up to two years, after which the rental agreement can be renewed.

Rented property in the central zones of Mecca and Medina (which are close to the Kaaba and the Masjid-e-Nabwi respectively) is most coveted. These areas primarily offer apartments; a limited number of houses are available in the suburbs.

Another option to consider is timeshare; this is an emerging form of renting property which is ideal for people who visit Mecca and Medina regularly, since
it allows them to rent apartments for a certain time period every year at a discounted rate.

The monthly rental rates for apartments (in rupees) in Mecca and Medina are as follows:

MECCA
Number of bedrooms                         Monthly rental ranges
1                                                          53,000-159,000
2                                                          80,000-240,000
3                                                          93,000-279,000

MEDINA
Number of bedrooms                         Monthly rental ranges
1                                                          53,000-159,000
2                                                          75,000-225,000
3                                                          90,000-270,000

– Syed Wajeeh-ul-Hassan Naqvi
Information provided by J&MReal Estate, Jeddah.

First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on July 21, 2013.

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