Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA — The minimum price of an umrah package has been fixed at RM4,900 and this will take effect by the middle of next year.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the move was to prevent pilgrims from being conned.

7O2T5912-750x300He said that by fixing the minimum price, the ministry was clamping down on fraudulent tour agencies that prey on Muslims looking for budget umrah packages.

“If (an agency offers) anything less than that, it is likely trying to cheat,” said Nazri, adding that the price was for the standard 12-days/10-nights package.

The ministry has also formed a Council for Umrah Regulation, which came into effect yesterday, as part of its efforts to combat umrah-related fraud.

“The council is a one-stop centre to receive all complaints concerning umrah packages from the public and will also monitor tour agencies offering such packages,” Nazri said.

It brings together various ministries and agencies, including the Department of Awqaf, Zakat and Haj (Jawhar) which is under the Prime Minister’s Department, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry, and Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents.

“Jawhar will have the power to monitor the tour agencies under the Tourism Industry Act 1992,” said Nazri who was speaking after the official opening of the Spectrum of Life health centre here yesterday.

The centre, accredited by the Health Ministry, offers traditional medicine and complementary therapy treatments under one roof.

Nazri said its opening was a boost to the country’s medical tourism industry.

“Malaysia is looking to benefit from medical tourism as the healthcare industry in the country offers top-quality treatments at affordable prices,” he said.

He added that the ministry was keen to attract more Indonesians for medical tourism because they make up the second largest group of tourists entering the country.