The availability of e-visas and cost-effective Umrah packages has spurred residents to embark on multiple pilgrimage journeys throughout the year.
Umrah operators have observed a surge in travel between the UAE and Saudi Arabia as a result.
Shihab Parwad, from Rehan Al Jazeera Tourism, noted, “The introduction of e-visas has encouraged us to create affordable pilgrimage packages to meet the increasing demand for spiritual journeys.”
These budget-friendly packages, starting at just Dh600 per person, not only offer economic benefits but also convenience, particularly for those traveling by bus. The DoJoin App is currently offering a 10-day package for residents with a 1-year Umrah e-visa.
Umrah, a pilgrimage that can be undertaken at any time, encompasses significant rituals such as the ‘tawaf’ around the Kaaba, the ‘sai’i’ between the hills of Safa and Marwah, and prayers at holy mosques. Upon completing Umrah, men exit from Ihram by shaving their heads, a practice known as ‘taqseer.’
In response to the increased demand for Umrah pilgrimages, operators have developed a range of packages suitable for individuals, families, couples, and colleagues. These packages can either include the Umrah Visa, the 1-year Umrah e-visa, or be tailored for those already possessing a visa. Prices for these packages by bus can range from Dh600 to Dh1,700, depending on the level of accommodation and meal options selected, according to Parwad.
Umrah pilgrimage packages with flight options start at Dh2,00
The price of these packages can vary depending on the cost of flight tickets. Occasionally, there are opportunities to secure more affordable airfare from Abu Dhabi, resulting in reduced overall package costs. However, at present, the base cost for such packages begins at Dh3,000, as stated by Parwad.
For those seeking a more indulgent pilgrimage experience, tour operators offer luxury packages commencing at Dh3,900. Qaiser Mehmood, who serves as the Manager at Asaa Tourism, emphasized these premium offerings, which include departure from Dubai or Sharjah and accommodations in upscale 4 and 5-star hotels situated conveniently close to the Ka’aba.
To ensure a smooth pilgrimage, experts recommend that residents book their flights and accommodations at least 15 days in advance of their trip and also schedule an appointment for the Tawaf ritual, an essential component of the Umrah pilgrimage.
Mehmood also advised that certain airlines may require travelers to hold a 1-year-multiple Umrah visa, and individuals with only a tourist visa may not be eligible for specific flight options.
Furthermore, Mehmood highlighted that many pilgrims who arrange their itineraries attempt to secure accommodations after their arrival in Makkah. However, due to high demand, rooms are often scarce. Efforts are underway to construct more hotels to accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims.
Additionally, experts noted that individuals wishing to perform Umrah with a tourist visa or a multiple-entry Umrah visa can arrive at any airport in Saudi Arabia. To facilitate the Tawaf ritual, they are advised to utilize the ‘Nusuk App’ to book an appointment, specifying the desired time and day.