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If you are one of the millions of Muslims around the world who cannot make the trip this year but are considering making the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, here are some tips to help you make the trip - all of it without spoiling you.
Very wealthy pilgrims can often make the journey multiple times and enjoy amenities such as five-star hotels and business or first-class airfare. But if your means are limited, you should spend some time researching the trip in advance.
Unless you are a resident of Saudi Arabia, performing Umrah is not cheap. Some experts say costs have increased significantly in recent years in countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. Expect to pay around $3,000 to $10,000 or more if you live in a country very far from the kingdom.
Haroon Moghul, an American scholar and commentator on Islamic affairs, said that for a lot of poorer pilgrims, making the trip "is often a matter of [spending] frugally." Financing an Umrah trip is even more difficult, Moghul said because Islamic teachings prohibit pilgrims from borrowing money to pay for their pilgrimage. Prospective pilgrims must settle all debts before leaving. Or if you can't afford to raise enough money for your trip. you can have a much cheaper alternative now through umrah packages 2023. which are very pocket friendly.
Some countries sponsor a few pilgrims through umrah packages 2023. If you are a Muslim in India, the government has long imposed significant "Umrah subsidies," including significant discounts on airline tickets. But be warned:
New Delhi has suggested that it will reduce subsidies in the coming years.
In most countries with large Muslim populations, there are likely to be groups that subsidize travel.
Some of these can include student groups, universities, Islamic centers, mosques and other Muslim charities to help people make the journey, whether through fundraising or not. Official or a regular program.
Due to limited capacity, Saudi Arabia's Umrah Ministry has for years limited the number of pilgrims who can participate. In some countries, notably Turkey, Libya and Egypt, Islamic authorities organize lotteries for Umrah visas, giving pilgrims of all economic backgrounds equal opportunities.
Several Umrah packages 2023 UK organizers contacted by Al Arabiya News last week reported that people had begun to express interest in next year's Umrah - even before this year's pilgrimage began.
In 2007, an elderly Egyptian woman sold almost all her belongings to go on a trip – only to discover that the visa issued by her travel agency was fake. Although she was finally able to enter Mecca after the authorities intervened, there are still many other horror stories.
In Britain last year, authorities inspected about 182 Umrah tour operators, according to Khalid Pervez, general secretary of the Birmingham-based British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) Association. “We were shocked to discover that more than 80% of cases did not meet the legal requirements of British law,” he told Al Arabiya News earlier this week.
However, the Saudian government has a list of a lot of agencies in each country authorized to organize Umrah trips.The list of accredited bodies can usually be found on the official website of the Saudi embassy in your country, while a different list for each country can be easily found on the Samirad Saudi portal. or you can look at our umrah packages 2023 which are authorized.
Find the plan that suits you best
With many companies, eminent clerics and scholars would lead groups on the pilgrimage. Some of them offer discounted options, or “if they are a large group, they are cheaper because they buy in bulk,” Moghul said.
Organized umrah packages 2023 from Canada tour groups are also very easy because they do most of the work for you, including logistics, itineraries, and ceremonies. With these, “you don't necessarily know exactly what to do, because someone will tell you," Moghul said. Be prepared to pay a fee if your group is led by a highly regarded Muslim scholar or cleric. Make sure you choose an experienced travel agency: new businesses that don't have a good reputation will be more likely to cause inconvenience and disappointment.
Don't underestimate how strenuous Umrah through umrah packages 2023 can be, especially during rush hours and hot weather. In Mecca, many pilgrims enjoy the comfort of staying in a 5-star hotel which is near Al Haram with very reliable air conditioning and high-quality amenities. If you plan your budget wisely, book in advance and pay attention to special offers, you can treat yourself to a higher level of comfort and enjoy your Umrah or Umrah experience more.
Buying gifts for loved ones back home is a major aspect of Umrah through umrah packages 2023 for many pilgrims. You may also need to bring ihram clothes, sunscreen, and fragrance-free toiletries. Haircuts and shaves are other minor expenses. You have plenty of flexibility in your shopping budget – but beware, big shoppers may have to pay excess baggage fees on return flights!
Eating together should be one of the pleasures of a pilgrimage, so you should plan your spending wisely based on the type of restaurants you like. Hotel prices, especially at higher-end properties, often include a hearty breakfast, and you can also book half-board or even all-inclusive packages. Don't forget to bring money for snacks and drinks, as the weather in Mecca is hot, and you will need to refuel and hydrate while performing your rituals.
Unless it is also included in your umrah package 2023, you must plan for the required sacrifice during your stay in Mecca. You can buy a sacrifice voucher in advance or buy it right away in Mecca; the cost depends on the type of animal you choose to sacrifice. If you miss a mandatory ritual, you will have to offer another offering to atone for your mistake.
Calling, texting and sending photos to friends and family back home – as well as keeping in touch on social media – is part of the fun of the pilgrimage. Many good hotels usually now offer free wifi, and you can get good deals on prepaid SIM cards for your smartphone when traveling in Saudi Arabia.