A Complete Guide For First-Time Umrah
  1. Understanding Umrah: A Brief Historical Overview
  2. 2023 Umrah Visa Process: What You Need to Know
  3. Saudi Arabia’s New Regulations Regarding Umrah for Women
  4. Updated Entry Requirements for Umrah in Saudi Arabia
  5. Transportation Routes to Mecca and Medina for Your Umrah Pilgrimage
  6. Preparing Your Umrah Suitcase and Preliminary Arrangements
  7. Umrah with Children: Tips and Considerations
  8. Step-by-Step Guide: How to Perform Umrah
  9. Etiquette and Guidelines for Umrah: Dos and Don’ts
  10. Exploring Mecca and Medina: Must-Visit Places After Umrah
  11. Culinary Delights in Saudi Arabia: Tasting Umrah’s Flavors
  12. Shopping During Your Umrah Journey: What to Buy and Where
  13. Enhancing Your Umrah Experience: Choosing Comfort and Luxury
  14. Life After Umrah: What to Do Upon Your Return
    A Complete Guide For First-Time Umrah
A Complete Guide For First-Time Umrah
  1. Understanding Umrah: A Brief Historical Overview

In our series of articles on Umrah, we provide detailed insights into its history, purpose, step-by-step procedures, valuable advice, and specialized information to ensure a comprehensive understanding of this sacred journey. Join us and embark on a spiritually fulfilling pilgrimage, guided by the right knowledge.

Umrah is a voluntary spiritual journey undertaken by every Muslim as a testament to their devotion to Allah. It is considered a Sunnah, neither obligatory nor mandatory, but it is recommended to perform it at least once in a lifetime. Unlike Hajj, Umrah has no fixed time, month, day, or year, allowing Muslims to undertake it at their convenience.

This spiritual expedition, also known as the ‘lesser pilgrimage,’ takes place in the holy city of Mecca, the holiest site in Islam. Derived from the Arabic word “E’atmar,” meaning “visit,” Umrah is a pilgrimage aimed at purifying the soul, attaining inner peace, and drawing closer to God.

History of Umrah

During the early years of Islam, tensions ran high between the Muslims residing in Mecca and the polytheists, who obstructed Muslims from performing the pilgrimage to Mecca. In the year 628 AD (6th Hijri), Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) led a group of Muslims from Medina to Mecca for their Umrah pilgrimage. However, they faced opposition from the Quraysh tribe, and out of respect for the sanctity of the Kaaba, the Prophet (peace be upon him) chose not to force his way in. Diplomatic negotiations ensued, resulting in the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, which granted a ten-year truce and allowed Muslims access to the Kaaba for three days annually.

In the subsequent Hijri year, the Prophet (peace be upon him) returned to Mecca with a group of 2000 Muslims, including men, women, and children. Here, they performed the inaugural Umrah rituals in Islam, marking a significant historical moment.

  1. 2023 Umrah Visa Process: What You Need to Know
Previous Saudi Arabian Visa Process

In the past, the visa application process involved manual document submission through travel agents, who would then present the visa forms to the Saudi Embassy on behalf of travelers. This process typically took 2 to 3 weeks for visa approval and issuance, causing anxiety for pilgrims. However, the new system allows for visa issuance within 24 hours, eliminating the need for intermediaries and simplifying the process.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has phased out the previous system, which relied on lengthy paperwork and file submissions. Pilgrims are now required to complete an electronic visa application, allowing them to determine their eligibility for travel in advance. This change has also removed the necessity of visiting the Saudi Embassy for visa processing.

  1. Saudi Arabia’s New Regulations Regarding Umrah for Women

The Need for Mahram Women who will perform Umrah no longer have to travel with a mahram (a male family member or spouse). It is possible to obtain Umrah visa without Mahram.

  1. Updated Entry Requirements for Umrah in Saudi Arabia
2023 Umrah Visa Process: What You Need to Know
Who Can Apply for Umrah Visa?

Umrah is open to Muslims worldwide, and Saudi Arabia offers four types of visas for Umrah: tourist visas, business visit visas, Umrah visas, and e-Visas. In an effort to streamline the visa process, Saudi Arabia has introduced an electronic visa system (e-visa).

A Complete Guide For First-Time Umrah

E-Visa System

Saudi Arabia has implemented a simplified electronic visa (e-visa) system, making it easier and faster for individuals to obtain Umrah visas. With this new system, individuals can acquire a fresh e-visa within 24 hours. In cases with specific circumstances, the visa process may take 2 to 5 days.

Independent Travel for Women

Women traveling to Saudi Arabia on a tourist visa can now embark on their journeys independently, a recent policy change aimed at enhancing accessibility and convenience.

Visa Requirements

To enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Umrah or other purposes, travelers must obtain a visa. The most recommended options for Umrah are the Umrah or tourist visas, which can be conveniently applied for online by following a provided link.

E-Visa Option

The e-visa, part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to streamline the visa process, is valid for 12 months and allows a maximum stay of 3 months within the Kingdom. It can be obtained online, simplifying the application process.

Visa on Arrival

For those arriving in Saudi Arabia, a 12-month tourist visa is available upon arrival, eliminating the need for prior application.

Application Process

To apply for an online visa, individuals are required to provide personal information, including full name, address, date of birth, travel plans, passport details, and contact information. Payment for the visa can be made securely online using a debit or credit card. Once the application is approved, the visa will be sent to the applicant via email, allowing for easy downloading and printing from any location.

This online visa system aligns with the vision of “Saudi Arabia 2030” to facilitate travel and accessibility.

Visa Procedures through Umrah Tour Operators

When booking an Umrah Tour, Salam Booking operators can assist with visa procedures, providing added convenience for travelers.

Special Conditions for US, UK, and Schengen Visa Holders

Individuals who are permanent residents of the USA, UK, or EU and possess US, UK, or Schengen visas can apply for eVisas under specific conditions:

  • The US, UK, or Schengen visa must be valid, used at least once, and have an entry stamp from the issuing country.
  • The US, UK, or Schengen visa must be a work or tourist visa.
Additional Entry Requirements

To enter the country, travelers should be mindful of the following details:

  • If an individual’s name is not of Muslim origin, they must obtain documentation from a local mosque or Islamic center affirming their Muslim identity.
  • A passport with a minimum of 2 blank pages, valid for at least 6 months from the Umrah date, is mandatory.
  • Submission of 2 passport photos is also required.
  • Once the visa is granted, travelers must commence their journey within 30 days, so attention to the application timing is crucial.
  • Travel insurance is advised to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise during the trip.

These new entry requirements aim to facilitate the Umrah experience and make it more accessible to a wider range of travelers.

  1. Transportation Routes to Mecca and Medina for Your Umrah Pilgrimage
  1. Flying to Jeddah and Taking a Taxi Directly to Mecca
    • As Jeddah is adjacent to Mecca, it is essential to be in ihram (a state of ritual consecration) before landing.
    • Travelers can opt for an Uber ride from Jeddah Airport to Mecca, which typically takes about 70 minutes. The approximate cost is $106 or 400 SAR.
  2. Flying to Jeddah and Going Directly to Mecca by Train
    • Similar to the previous option, travelers should be in ihram upon landing in Jeddah.
    • The Haramain high-speed train connects Jeddah Airport and Mecca in just 54 minutes. Prices start at $9.80 or 34.50 SAR for Economy Class and $14.60 or 54.63 SAR for Business Class.
    • For those planning to visit Medina from Mecca, the high-speed Haramain train offers a convenient 2-hour and 20-minute journey. Prices start from $60 or 225 SAR for Economy Class and $97 or 362.25 SAR for Business Class. Tickets can be booked through the Haramain High-Speed Trains website.
  3. Flying Directly to Medina and Taking the Train to Mecca After the Visit
    • Travelers arriving in Medina first do not need to be in ihram upon landing.
    • The Medina to Mecca Haramain Train journey takes approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes. Prices begin at $30 or 113 SAR for Economy Class and $48 or 181 SAR for Business Class. Travelers should put on ihram before boarding the train, and tickets can be booked via the Haramain High-Speed Trains website.
  4. Flying to Jeddah and Taking the Train to Medina Before Umrah
    • If your destination is Medina, there is no requirement to be in ihram upon landing in Jeddah.
    • The High-Speed Haramain Train from Jeddah to Medina offers a swift 1-hour and 54-minute journey. Prices start from $23 or 86.25 SAR for Economy Class and $40.50 or 152.38 SAR for Business Class. Tickets can be booked through the Haramain High-Speed Trains website.
Transportation Stations:
  • Jeddah King Abdulaziz Airport Address: King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Medina Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Airport Address: Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia
  • Haramain Mecca Train Station (Operating Hours: 06:30 – 00:30) Address: Ar Rusayfah District, Makkah Al Mukarramah, Saudi Arabia. It is located 3.5 km away from Masjid al-Haram.
  • Haramain King Abdulaziz International Jeddah Airport Train Station (Operating Hours: 06:30 – 00:30) Address: The airport train station is situated within the King Abdulaziz International Airport Main Airport Terminal Building. Follow the direction signs to reach the train station.
  • Haramain Medina Train Station (Operating Hours: 06:30 – 00:30) Address: Al Hadra District, Madinah, Saudi Arabia. It is located 9 km away from Masjid an-Nabawi.
  1. Preparing Your Umrah Suitcase and Preliminary Arrangements

Embarking on an Umrah journey is a momentous occasion, and careful packing and preparations can significantly enhance your experience. Here are some essential tips on how to prepare your Umrah suitcase and what to consider before you go:

  1. Travel Documents and Essentials:
  • Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your return date.
  • Obtain the international departure fee stamp (if applicable) and keep it with you at the airport.
  • Carry enough cash in Turkish Lira, USD, or Riyal. You can exchange for Saudi Arabian Riyal at exchange offices in Saudi Arabia.
  • Check your baggage allowance (typically 30 kg per person) and hand luggage allowance (usually 8 kg). Remember, you can bring 10 liters of Zamzam water on your return as a gift.
  1. Ihram and Clothing:
  • Men will be provided with quality Ihram by Salam Booking. Consider purchasing an Ihram belt and slippers to wear while in Ihram.
  • Pack lightweight clothing, including short socks, comfortable shoes, house slippers, underwear, a small towel, a cotton scarf/shawl, half tank tops, pajamas, a light cardigan or coat, booties, and sunglasses.
  1. Health and Hygiene:
  • Include health essentials like pads (for women), painkillers, toothbrush, toothpaste, cotton, vitamins, cold and flu medicine, muscle relaxers, gauze, masks, throat lozenges, skin softening cream, rash cream, and sunscreen.
  • Carry unscented soap, small bags, tissue paper, nail clippers, and any personal hygiene items you may need.
  1. Miscellaneous Items:
  • Pack stationery supplies like a ballpoint pen, notepad, small scissors, and a needle with thread.
  • If you plan to read the Quran, consider bringing your own, as the Quran in Saudi Arabia may have a different font. Alternatively, download the Quran application and content on your mobile phone.
  1. In Your Travel Bag (for on-the-go):
  • Small water bottle, pen, small bag, wet wipes, painkillers, biscuits, a prayer rug, and a rosary.
  1. Food and Meals:
  • Breakfast and dinner will be provided by your agency. You can choose to have lunch at local restaurants or prepare your own. Saudi Arabia offers various food options, so you don’t need to carry too many food items.
  1. Luggage Tips:
  • Attach the suitcase tags provided by your agency and clearly label your luggage with your name, phone number, and city.
  • Use an easily recognizable mark on your suitcase to help identify it.

Remember, the key to a successful Umrah journey is packing light and thoughtfully. By following these tips and being well-prepared, you can focus on your spiritual experience and create lasting memories. Safe travels!

  1. Umrah with Children: Tips and Considerations

Taking your children for Umrah is an opportunity to nurture their love for Islam and instill a strong sense of belonging to this faith. Providing them with a firsthand experience can be the most effective way to teach them about the beauty of Islam. By accompanying them on this spiritual journey at a young age, you can help them grow in their love for Allah and assimilate genuine Islamic values.

Performing Umrah with children may seem daunting for parents, but with careful preparation and advance planning, it can become a comfortable and peaceful experience. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth Umrah journey with your little ones:

  1. Identification and Safety:
    • Attach a bracelet or chain to your child with their name, your phone number, and hotel information.
    • Carry a basic medical and first-aid kit with you.
    • Establish a designated family meeting point in case you get separated.
  2. Navigation in the Grand Mosque:
    • The Grand Mosque has multiple doors, each with unique names and numbers. Assign a door number for your family to regroup in case of separation.
  3. Travel Comfort:
    • To prevent travel sickness on long journeys, opt for direct flights and carry nausea lozenges.
    • Maintain regular sleep patterns for your children, as tired and sleep-deprived kids may become unhappy.
  4. Umrah Timing:
    • Plan to perform your Umrah rituals early in the morning when it’s less crowded and the weather is cooler.
  5. Supervision During Tawaf and Sa’i:
    • During the Tawaf (circumambulation) and Sa’i (ritual walk), you’ll be walking for an extended period. Ensure that each child is under the supervision of an adult.
  6. Child Carriers:
    • If you intend to carry your child, use a sling or baby carrier, as strollers are not allowed in the Grand Mosque.
  7. Child Safety Measures:
    • Carry a child seat belt to prevent young children from wandering away from you.

Embrace your Umrah journey with your children and create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. This experience will not only strengthen their connection to Islam but also leave a lasting imprint of devotion and spirituality in their hearts.

  1. Step-by-Step Guide: How to Perform Umrah

Umrah can be undertaken by Muslims of any age, at any time of the year, through a series of rituals performed in a specific manner, sequence, and frequency. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the correct procedure for a peaceful Umrah experience.

Umrah Comprises Three Principal Rituals:
  1. Tawaf: Also known as circumambulation, it involves walking around the Kaaba in an anti-clockwise direction.
  2. Sa’i: This ritual involves traveling back and forth between Safa, located in the south of the Kaaba, and Marwa, situated in the north of the Kaaba.
  3. Halq: Male pilgrims partake in this by either shaving their heads or trimming a portion of their hair.

Here’s a straightforward, step-by-step guide on how to perform Umrah:

Step 1: Begin your Umrah journey by arriving at the Miqat, a predefined location where Muslims don the ihram garment. While doing so, firmly establish your intention to commence the Umrah rituals. The initial phase of Umrah involves wearing the ihram attire with a pure and sincere intention. It’s important to note that during this state, hair, beard, nails must not be trimmed, and the use of perfumes is prohibited.

Step 2: Following the wearing of your ihram, make your way to Mecca while reciting the talbiye supplication. The talbiye goes as follows: “Lebbeyk, Allāhümme lebbeyk. Lebbeyk, la şerîke lebbeyk. İnne’l-hamde ve’n-ni’mete lek ve’l-mulk, la şerîke lek.”

Step 3: Upon reaching the Masjid al-Haram, maintain a lowered gaze until you arrive at the Tawaf area. Then, raise your head to behold the blessed Kaaba without allowing your gaze to wander, embracing the awe-inspiring moment.

Step 4: Commence your circumambulation from the location of Hacerül Esved. Follow the green light on one of the upper walls of the Masjid al-Haram as your guide. Circumambulate the Kaaba seven times in a counterclockwise direction. After completing the Tawaf, offer two rak’ahs of Tawaf prayer next to Maqam Ibrahim and sip from the blessed Zamzam water while continuing to pray.

Step 5: Now, it’s time for Sa’i. Head toward the Safa-Merve hills, starting from Sa’i Safa and concluding at the Marwa hills. During Sa’i, you may recite any prayers you wish.

Step 6: After completing Sa’i, proceed with ‘Halq’ or ‘Taqsir.’ This entails either shaving your head or trimming a lock of your hair.

Step 7: Once you’ve successfully completed these three essential steps, you may exit the state of ihram. You have the option to return to your accommodation or remain at the Kaaba for as long as you desire.

Wishing you a blessed and spiritually fulfilling Umrah experience!

A Complete Guide For First-Time Umrah

  1. Etiquette and Guidelines for Umrah: Dos and Don’ts

As you embark on your Umrah pilgrimage, it’s natural to face some challenges due to a lack of information. To help you make the most of this sacred experience, here are six essential practices to avoid:

  1. Avoid Exhaustion Before Departure: Ensure you’re well-rested and organized before your journey. Unpack your belongings, arrange necessary logistics such as airport transfers, and get ample rest in preparation for the significant day ahead.
  2. Moderate Your Shopping: While it’s delightful to purchase souvenirs for loved ones upon your return, refrain from excessive shopping that might divert your focus from the House of God. Strike a balance to maximize your time in devotion.
  3. Respect Personal Space: In your eagerness to reach the Kaaba or Hacer-ül Asved, refrain from pushing or disrupting others. Maintaining order and reverence is paramount in this holy place.
  4. Stay Connected with Your Group: If you’re traveling with a group, it’s crucial to stick together. Always carry a card with your guide’s contact details, essential information, and hotel details in case you become separated.
  5. Designate a Meeting Point: Plan for unforeseen situations by designating a meeting point within the mosque. Given the numerous gates, each with its unique names and numbers, specify a door number for reunification in case someone gets lost.
  6. Maintain Spiritual Focus: Keep your attention firmly on your spiritual journey and avoid distractions from worldly matters. Use this time to turn to God and find solace in worship.
  7. Preserve the Sanctity: Show respect by keeping Masjid al-Haram clean. Avoid leaving any litter behind; remember, it is the sacred house of Allah, deserving of utmost reverence.
  1. Exploring Mecca and Medina: Must-Visit Places After Umrah

After completing your Umrah, you have the opportunity to partake in additional day trips and city tours. These locations hold special significance for all Muslims:

In Mecca:
  1. Cennet Al Mu’alla: The second most renowned cemetery in the Islamic world, located in Mecca.
  2. Jabal An Noor Hira Cave: Mount Nur, where the Cave of Hira is situated, marking the location of the first revelation to our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
  3. Mount Arafat: The mountain where our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) delivered his final sermon and a sacred site for prospective pilgrims.
  4. Masjid-i Ayesha: Mecca’s second-largest mosque, serving as one of the miqat locations for ihram.
  5. Maktabat Makkah Al Mukarramah: A small library located at the birthplace of our Prophet (peace be upon him).
  6. Cave of Sèvres: Known for the story of a spider spinning a web at its entrance while our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) sought refuge from his adversaries during his migration to Medina.
  7. Al Kiswa Factory: An opportunity to witness the impressive production process of Kiswa-i Sharif, the cloth that drapes over the Holy Kaaba, adorned with silk, gold, and silver embroidery.
  8. Fakieh Aquarium: A fascinating aquarium featuring over 200 species of fish and captivating marine life, perfect for families with children.
  9. Makkah Mall: A shopping destination housing local and national brands, as well as luxury retail chains. It’s the preferred location for purchasing traditional garments such as abayas, caftans, and keffiyehs.
  10. Mount Arafat: The hill where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) delivered his Farewell Sermon and a place for seeking forgiveness from Allah for past sins.
In Medina:
  1. Medina Media Museum: A small museum featuring models, pictures, and promotional videos shedding light on Islamic and Medina history, offering valuable insights into the development of Medina and the significance of Masjid an-Nabawi.
  2. Quba Masjid: The first mosque in Islamic history, where our Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed on Saturdays. Visiting this mosque is said to yield rewards akin to performing Umrah, as mentioned by the Prophet.
  3. Mount Uhud: This 110-meter-high mountain surrounds a plain and is located 5 km from Masjid an-Nabawi. It was a notable site during the Medina period.
  4. Cennetu‘l-Baki: The oldest cemetery of Muslims in Medina, often referred to as the ‘Garden of Eden.’
  5. Medina Train Station: This station, marking the end of the Hejaz Railway that once connected Medina and Istanbul, is an enduring testament to history and the Ottoman Empire’s regional transportation network.
  1. Culinary Delights in Saudi Arabia: Tasting Umrah’s Flavors

Embarking on an Umrah pilgrimage offers not only spiritual enrichment but also a chance to savor the diverse and delectable flavors of the region. The journey to Mecca and Medina introduces pilgrims to a range of culinary delights that are an integral part of the Umrah experience. Here, we explore the culinary landscape you can savor during your sacred journey:

  1. Traditional Saudi Cuisine:
  • Mandi: A fragrant and flavorful dish consisting of rice, meat (usually lamb or chicken), and a blend of aromatic spices.
  • Kabsa: Saudi Arabia’s national dish, featuring spiced rice combined with meat (often chicken or lamb) and garnished with nuts.
  • Jareesh: A porridge-like dish made from crushed wheat, Jareesh is seasoned with spices and often accompanied by yogurt or meat.
  1. Sweets and Desserts:
  • Baklava: A popular pastry made of layers of phyllo dough, filled with nuts, and sweetened with honey or syrup.
  • Ma’amoul: Delicate, shortbread-like cookies filled with dates or nuts and often enjoyed with Arabic coffee.
  1. Beverages:
  • Arabic Coffee (Gahwa): A fragrant and lightly spiced coffee traditionally served in small cups with dates as a gesture of hospitality.
  • Qamar al-Din: A refreshing apricot juice, especially cherished during the holy month of Ramadan.
  1. Street Food and Snacks:
  • Falafel: Deep-fried balls made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, served in pita bread with tahini sauce and fresh vegetables.
  • Shawarma: Thinly sliced marinated meat (usually chicken or beef) served in a flatbread wrap with garlic sauce and veggies.
  • Samosas: Savory pastries filled with spiced meat or vegetables, often served as a quick snack.

A Complete Guide For First-Time Umrah

  1. International Cuisine:
  • Due to the diverse population of pilgrims from around the world, you’ll find a wide range of international cuisine options in the holy cities.

Exploring these culinary treasures during your Umrah pilgrimage is a delightful way to embrace the local culture and create lasting memories. Whether you’re savoring traditional Saudi dishes or international flavors, the tastes of Umrah are sure to leave a flavorful imprint on your spiritual journey.

  1. The Art of Coffee in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia boasts a vibrant coffee culture deeply intertwined with the Umrah experience. Coffee, or “Gahwa” in Arabic, holds a special place in Saudi hospitality and tradition. Here, we delve into the fascinating coffee culture and Umrah tastes of Saudi Arabia:

  1. Gahwa (Arabic Coffee):
  • Preparation: Gahwa is meticulously prepared by lightly roasting green coffee beans, which are then ground to a fine powder. The coffee is brewed with cardamom and sometimes saffron, infusing it with a delightful aroma and flavor.
  • Serving Ritual: Gahwa is traditionally served in small cups without handles. This gesture of hospitality reflects Saudi warmth and generosity. It is often accompanied by dates, symbolizing the perfect pairing of bitterness and sweetness.
  1. The Coffee Ceremony:
  • Welcoming Guests: When visitors arrive, it is customary to offer them a cup of Gahwa as a welcoming gesture. This tradition signifies hospitality, friendship, and a desire to connect.
  • Three Cups: The coffee ceremony typically involves serving three cups of Gahwa. The first cup is offered to the guest, the second is served after the guest finishes the first, and the third cup signifies the conclusion of the visit.
  1. Social Bonding:
  • Gahwa serves as a catalyst for meaningful conversations and social bonding. It encourages guests to linger and engage in discussions, fostering connections and understanding.
  1. Arabic Coffee Pots (Dallah):
  • These traditional coffee pots, often beautifully adorned with intricate designs, are used to boil and serve Gahwa. Dallahs are an iconic symbol of Saudi coffee culture.

In 2020, Saudi Arabia imported approximately 80,000 tons of coffee. According to official statistics, Saudis spend around 1.16 billion riyals (approximately 275,000 dollars) on coffee annually.

  1. Shopping During Your Umrah Journey: What to Buy and Where
  • Shopping in Saudi Arabia can be advantageous. Avoid carrying excessive items, except for essentials and clothing.
  • Find abayas, prayer rugs, tasbih (prayer beads), skullcaps, and head coverings in Mecca and Medina at favorable prices.
  • Consider bringing back clothes, oud (perfume), dates, or souvenirs for your loved ones.
  • Saudi Arabia has large supermarkets like Bin Dawood, Panda, Noori, and Carrefour to meet your daily needs and purchase dates.

Shopping Areas:

  • Abraj Al Bait complex near the Masjid al-Haram is a five-story shopping mall with a wide variety of items.
  • Explore smaller shops near the mosque for souvenirs, prayers items, and snacks.
  • In Mecca, the Aziziye district along Masjid-i Haram Street features luxury boutiques, shopping centers, and international brand outlets.
  • Al Ghazali and Ajyad have gift and perfume shops.
  • Visit the Great Makkah Mall near Al-Masjid al-Haram and Al Diyafa Shopping Center for modern shopping experiences.
  • Obtain dates from date gardens in Medina.

By considering these factors and making informed choices, you can enhance the comfort and luxury of your Umrah journey while ensuring a memorable and fulfilling pilgrimage.

  1. Enhancing Your Umrah Experience: Choosing Comfort and Luxury

When planning your Umrah journey, consider various factors to ensure a comfortable and luxurious experience, although it may come at a higher cost. Here are some tips to enhance your Umrah experience:

A Complete Guide For First-Time Umrah

  1. Hotel Accommodation:
    • The proximity of your hotel to the Kaaba or Masjid an-Nabawi will impact your accommodation costs. Choose a hotel that aligns with your budget.
    • If your hotel is farther from the holy sites, ensure it offers transportation services to ease your commute. Follow our articles for everything and up-to-date information Makkah Hotel
  2. Medina Visit:
    • Decide whether you plan to visit Medina as well. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to fly directly to Medina before proceeding to Mecca.
    • Follow our articles for everything and up-to-date information Medina Hotel
  3. Airport Transportation:
    • Consider the mode of transportation from the airport. Public transport or group buses may take longer but can be more economical.
  4. Length of Stay:
    • The duration of your stay can significantly affect your comfort and budget. Longer stays may offer more comfort but come at a higher cost.
  5. Airport Selection:
    • Choose whether you will use the same airport for your return journey, which can be more convenient, or different airports, which may increase costs.
  6. Tour Packages:
    • Opting for a tour package that includes meals can save you both time and money.
    • Tours that incorporate environmental visits are more convenient than organizing individual visits.
  1. Life After Umrah: What to Do Upon Your Return

Following these blessed journeys to the House of God and engaging in one of the most beautiful forms of worship, it is a time for personal reflection and transformation.

It’s an opportunity to cultivate an inner change, deepening your connection with Allah. Embrace a demeanor of humility and kindness towards your loved ones, and strive for Allah’s approval and mercy through daily prayers.

After you return home from Umrah, maintain the same faith and connection with Allah, feel less distracted by worldly matters, give more charity, adopt good habits, and stay more composed towards the ups and downs in life, knowing that everything that happens is from Allah and it is He who takes you out in every problem or situation.

Discover  the best Umrah Tour on salambooking.com

Follow our articles for everything and up-to-date information about Umrah:

Mastering Your DIY Umrah: A Strategic Guide to Plan Your Journey 
How to Perform Umrah?
Must-Have Apps for Your Umrah Journey


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