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Do It Yourself Umrah

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Zakir4u View Drop Down
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Joined: 18 November 2017
Location: United Arab Emirates
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    Posted: 18 November 2017 at 9:29am

Assalam O Alaikum,

I am sharing my recent Umrah experience with you all which I hope will help you to plan your Umrah trip in some way. I stayed in Madinah from 5-7 November and in Makkah from 7-10 November 2017. Please feel free to ask any other questions which I will try to answer if possible.

I travelled from Dubai and started my Umrah journey from Madinah. I landed in airport and was informed by my friends and relatives that I will have to look for taxi or private transfers to go to Haram which will cost me around 80-100 Saudi Riyal (SAR). However, I checked with some cleaners in the airport for the easiest way to reach Haram and they advised me that there is a bud available just outside the Domestic Terminal Departure entrance which will take me directly to Haram. So I went looking for it and found that it operates 24/7 at every half an hour duration and costs SAR 10/- per person and the duration is around 30-40 minutes only. The bus was in fine shape and belonged to the government transportation and dropped me very near to the Haram.

I was staying in Sofaraa Al Eman Hotel which was just 5 to 7 minutes’ walk away from Gate 16,17 and 18 of Masjid Al Nabwi (Gate 16 have access to female prayer section). There were ample of shops/restaurants between the Hotel and Masjid which are open throughout the day specially after the prayers. Also, there were many Pakistani restaurants and shops available just 5 minutes’ walk behind the hotel just after crossing a main road which are open till late night.

From one such Pakistani restaurant I got number of a driver who had private car for transportation. So I booked the driver for ziarats for the next. The driver started the ziarat at around 8 in the morning and took us to famous landmarks like the ground of Uhud Battle, Tomb of Hazrat Hamza and masjids like The Seven Masjids, Masjid Al-Qiblatain, Quba Masjid and Bilal Masjid (which opens during prayer only). The driver had good knowledge of the places and informed us in detail about the history of the same. Then he took us to date farm to buy fresh dates in affordable prices. However, the packed dates are available at similar cost in the regular market as well so I would recommend to buy fresh dates from there. The whole journey lasted for around 3 hours and costed SAR 120/-.

I booked the same driver for my next day travel from Madinah to Makkah which costed me SAR 350/- after much negotiation as the regular prices for the journey is around SAR 400/- to 500/- depending on the requirement of the car type. I wasn’t aware that the Meeqat is just 20 minutes away from the hotel and thus I had carried my Ihram with me. I would recommend to change Ihram from hotel before leaving as it will save a lot of travel time. We left around 16:30 and had spend around 45 minutes at the Meeqat for ghusl (the facility is well equipped for such activities) and Umrah niat prayer. We finally reached Makkah at around 23:00 as the driver couldn’t find a way to enter Makkah Tower where I was staying. I would also recommend to make this journey during the day as the driver will then driver faster by knowing where the radar is placed. There was no street light on road so my driver was following the speed limit of 130KMPH to avoid any speed radars.

Alternatively, you can take a bus provided by SAPTCO for the same journey depending on the size of your family. There are buses available at regular interval between Madinah and Makkah and will cost SAR 65/- per person for a normal bus which will take around 7-8 Hours. Similarly, there is also VIP bus service available which will cost SAR 120/- per person which will take 5 hours for the same journey. For more information you can visit SAPTCO website.

So I finally started my Umrah at around 23:30 and it took me 2 hours to complete the Umrah. Once you exit the Masjid from King Abdul Aziz gate and walks straight towards the Makkah tower, you will find many barber shop representatives standing there to take you to their shops. There are numerous barber shops available with a fixed rate of SAR 10/- for shaving head or trimming.

Please be aware that due to recently started construction near Kaaba, the entry to Mataaf (place near Kaaba) is only restricted to people wearing Ihram that too from very few gates (for e.g. fate 94 and 95 near the King Abdul Aziz gate). The nafl Tawafs can only be done at the higher levels of the Masjid. I am not sure till how long the construction will last but the restriction is imposed throughout the day. It takes around 1 hours 30 minutes to complete Tawaf from the 1st floor as compared to 40 minutes at Mataaf.

There are numerous shops and restaurants near Masjid Al Haram ranging from very affordable cafeterias to the regular fast food chains. One very important thing to note is that none of the shops or restaurants accepts any type of card payment and only cash is accepted. Majority of the fast food chains only provides food in takeaway manner.

The day before my departure, I did my second Umrah for which I took a public bus for just SAR 2/- per person one way to Masjid Ayesha which is termed as one of the Meeqats. The buses are available just 5-7 minutes’ walk away from Masjid Al Haram and can be inquired by anyone there as the buses are run by government. The journey takes roughly 40/- minutes per way and in return the buses leave from opposite Masjid Ayesha and drops you at the same place from where you departed near Masjid Al Haram.

I then departed from my hotel after the Friday prayer to go to Jeddah Airport for my flight. I had booked a private taxi for SAR 150/- for the journey which lasts for a hour. Unfortunately, the driver wasn’t allowed to enter the pickup point of Makkah Tower parking and I had to hire another private transfer on the spot which costed me SAR 200/-. The official taxi for the same route will cost from SAR 250/- to 300/-. Alternatively there is bus service available as well to airport which will take around 2 hours to reach and because of my flight time I couldn’t take that option.

That was my DIY Umrah and I hope it will help you in some manner to plan your own Umrah
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