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Where to Start with a DIY Umrah?

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It can be a bit overwhelming to book your Do It Yourself Umrah. The first step was exploring the web for flights. Literally i could fly to Jeddah for 250 Euro with multiple transfers, 580 Euro for a one stopover and 780 Euro for a Direct flight from Amsterdam.  I decided to go with the direct flight with Saudi Airlines, AMS-JED. Saving time is for me more valuable and can be vice versa for another.  if you are sure you will go InshaAllah i strongly recommend to arrange your eVisa first to avoid any risk that after booking, your visa gets rejected. I booked the flights after comparing multiple meta search websites listed below.

Kayak.com  user friendly compares many airlines and websites, however is mostly used in the US, the nice thing of Kayak is they have a price chart prediction of flights and you can set an alert to track the prices.          

Momondo.com, is known for its user-friendly interface and powerful search capabilities, enabling for travelers to find the best deals and compare prices from multiple sources. It also offers various filters and tools to customise search results based on preferences such as budget, travel dates, and flight durations. Also Momondo has tthe option to set up a flight alert. Momondo is populaire in EU and belongs to the same group as Kayak. 

 Booking.com A well known online travel agency who offers also flights and many accommodations, it is good to also check individual websites in our case booking.com was showing the same price as Saudi Airlines. Depending on your location they offer a Pay later option for flights via Klarna.   

Skyscanner.com The most used meta search engine in Europe, however not always the best deals and some websites are having some lower scores when it comes to customer service. Please pick a high rated one.  

Who offers the best flight fares? it is always a challenge, one is cheaper than the other. Please keep in mind the cheapest option is not always the best option, always double check the seller’s review score on for example google.com or trustpilot.com. In my case www.supersaver.com was offering the flights slightly cheaper however the customer reviews weren’t that high. After finding my desired flight i booked it straight from the Saudi Airlines website. The website can be a bit clingy,   flight tickets  weren’t all coming through after the payment was made, small glitches which was resolved in the end. The surprise i had with booking directly with Saudi Airlines was that the website shows prices in EUR but they charged our credit card in SAR where the Credit Card company charged me for FX rate. 

Key is to book in advance at least a couple of months before your departure date, mine was 6 months before. i booked AMS -JED, JED – MED, MED -AMS via Jeddah. As flight fares are changing daily and even in a couple minutes, please make sure you don’t wait too long, else you will end up paying a much higher price. 2 month before departure the flight fare went already up with €200 and 1 month before  it doubled €400,-  Saudi Airlines offers a bidding system for upgrades from Economy to Business class,  you can make a bid based on your budget, one day before departure i received a notification that the bid was accepted. For 428 Euro one way,  My total flight cost was €1636,- 

There are websites who offer a free service called a price alert, when the price rise or drop you get notified per email, good to set it on so you can keep track and don’t miss out on a good deal, as flight websites can have different prices a good thing to do track is to enable the price alert on multiple websites..  How to use Price Alerts on several websites.


The Search for your hotels?

Mecca offers a variety of hotels that cater to different budgets and preferences. It’s important to note that hotel rankings and prices can change over time, so I recommend checking recent reviews and comparing prices before making a booking. Here are some highly regarded hotels in Mecca known for their quality and value:

Distance from Masjid al-Haram is an important to check, The hotels’ proximity to the Masjid al-Haram varies, with some located just a short walking distance away, while others may require a short bus or taxi ride to reach the mosque. If you dont mind a stroll it can save you money to have a hotel a bit further however it can be a challenge for elderly.  Lets break down the hotels in different segments to give you a view and see what you would like to search for. 

Luxury Hotels: Mecca boasts several luxury hotels located close to the Masjid al-Haram (the Grand Mosque). These hotels offer premium services, stunning views of the mosque, and convenient access to the pilgrimage sites. They often have spacious rooms and suites, fine dining restaurants, fitness centers, spa facilities, and other luxurious amenities.

Mid-range Hotels: There are numerous mid-range hotels in Mecca that offer comfortable accommodation at more affordable prices. These hotels typically have standard rooms, basic amenities, and decent facilities for pilgrims.

Budget Hotels: For budget-conscious travelers, there are budget hotels and guesthouses available in the city. These hotels may have more modest amenities but provide a cost-effective option for those looking to perform Umrah on a budget.

Apartment Hotels: Some hotels in Mecca offer apartment-style accommodation, ideal for families or larger groups. These apartments come with kitchenettes or full kitchens, making it convenient for guests to prepare their meals during their stay.

Hotels with Haram Views: Many hotels in Mecca advertise “Haram views,” meaning they offer views of the Grand Mosque. These rooms often come at a premium price due to their prime location and proximity to the pilgrimage sites.

Hotel Chains: Several international hotel chains have a presence in Mecca, offering consistent quality and service for travelers who prefer familiar brands.

Please note that Mecca is constantly evolving, and new hotels may have been built or existing ones may have undergone changes since my last update. It’s essential to research and check recent reviews before booking your accommodation to ensure it meets your specific requirements and preferences during your pilgrimage to Mecca.

Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower: This luxury hotel is located adjacent to the Masjid al-Haram and offers stunning views of the Kaaba. It provides top-notch services, spacious rooms, and a variety of dining options. The Clock Royal Tower is renowned for its excellent hospitality and direct access to the Grand Mosque.


Top Rated Hotels:

Raffles Makkah Palace: Another luxury option, Raffles Makkah Palace is situated in the Abraj Al Bait complex and offers direct access to the Masjid al-Haram. The hotel features elegant rooms, a luxurious spa, and impeccable service, making it an ideal choice for pilgrims seeking a high-end experience.

Conrad Makkah: Part of the Hilton chain, Conrad Makkah is a luxurious hotel that boasts a prime location overlooking the Haram. It offers spacious rooms, modern amenities, and exceptional service, making it a popular choice among pilgrims seeking comfort and convenience.

Hilton Suites Makkah: Also part of the Hilton chain, this hotel provides apartment-style suites with kitchenettes, making it suitable for families or longer stays. It offers a free shuttle service to the Haram and provides comfortable accommodation at a more affordable price than some of the luxury options.

Dar Al Tawhid Intercontinental Makkah: This upscale hotel is located just a few steps away from the Grand Mosque. It offers elegant rooms, excellent dining options, and attentive service, making it a favorite among travelers looking for quality accommodations near the Haram.

Makkah Marriott Hotel: This mid-range hotel offers comfortable rooms and is within walking distance of the Haram. It provides a good balance of quality and price, making it a popular choice for pilgrims on a moderate budget.

Please keep in mind that hotel availability and prices may vary depending on the time of year and demand, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons like Ramadan and Hajj. It’s recommended to book your hotel well in advance to secure the best rates and availability for your desired travel dates. Additionally, always verify the latest reviews and amenities to ensure the hotel meets your specific needs and expectations.

Readers can anticipate remarkable savings ranging from 25% to 40%, contingent on their expertise in Umrah planning and their adept utilization of the information provided on this website.

Transfers from Jeddah Airport >Makkah> Medina

Transfers between Jeddah and Makkah are a common transportation need for travelers, particularly for those embarking on Umrah or Hajj pilgrimages. Here are some of the key transfer options available:

Private Taxis: 

Private taxis are readily available at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah (JED) and can take you directly to Makkah. They are a convenient but relatively expensive option.

Shuttle Services: 

Some shuttle services operate between the airport and Makkah, offering shared rides at a more affordable rate than private taxis. These shuttles typically depart on a scheduled basis.

Public Transportation:

Public buses also connect Jeddah to Makkah, providing an economical option for travelers. However, these buses may not be as comfortable or convenient as private transfers.

Rental Cars:

If you’re comfortable driving in Saudi Arabia, you can rent a car at the airport and make the approximately 70-kilometer journey to Makkah on your own.

Hotel Transfers:

Many hotels in Makkah offer airport transfer services for their guests. Check with your hotel in advance to see if they provide this service.

Ride-Sharing Apps:

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Careem operate in Saudi Arabia and can be a convenient way to get from the airport to Makkah. 

When choosing a transfer option, consider factors like cost, convenience, and your personal preferences. It’s advisable to plan your transfer in advance, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons when demand for transportation services can be high. Additionally, make sure you are aware of any specific entry requirements for Makkah and have the necessary permits if you are participating in religious activities. With the transfer booking option on umrahbooking you have different options with the highest quality of service and a cancellation options. 


A Quick Guide to DIY Umrah

Planning your first DIY Umrah can feel daunting, but you can approach it much like planning a family vacation. Once you get the feel, it will be a piece of cake.


    • Step 1: Issue your tourist visa 


    • Step 2: Check out flight and availability 


    • Step 3: Look for your hotels depending on your budget


    • Step 4: Transportation while you are in Saudi Arabia

This is a very simplified version for a quick guide it is not that difficult. 


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