By Enaam Elawady
Demand for the Saudi Riyal increased in the currency exchange market during the past days, leading to rise in value.
The increase in demand is due to pilgrims performing Ramadan’s Omra pilgrimage. Egyptians account for approximately 15% of the total number of pilgrims in the current year, a total of 4 million.
Ali Elhariri, a deputy at the exchange department with the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, confirmed this trend
Sameh Abdelrahman, a member of the Giza Chamber of Commerce, explained that the Riyal’s prices increased by 1 piaster, reaching exchange rates of EGP 0.0161 for buying and EGP 0.016 for selling.
The Riyal’s exchange rate increase followed an increase in the US dollar, as Saudi Arabia has pegged its currency to the American dollar at a fixed rate since the 1970s.
Abdel Rahman said that in 2006, tourism companies began phasing out the system whereby pilgrims were required to acquire Suadi Riyals from currency exchanges, leading to high demand for the Riyal.
Pilgrims in the old system would demand more than SAR 10,000, whereas pilgrims currently demand only SAR 2,000.