Luggage Allowance for Umrah PackagesThe luggage allowance for Umrah packages will vary depending on the airline and the package provider. However, most airlines allow one checked bags weighing up to 25 Kg and one carry-on bag weighing up to 5 Kg . It is important to check with your airline or our umrah consultant while choosing package specific luggage allowance.
Food in Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia has a rich culinary tradition, with influences from various cultures throughout the Middle East and beyond. pilgrims can find all sorts of food east asian, south asian, fast food, etc Some popular Saudi dishes include: Kabsa: A fragrant rice dish with meat or fish Shawarma: Marinated meat roasted on a vertical spit and served in a flatbread wrap Falafel: Deep-fried chickpea patties Hummus: A creamy dip made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic Baklava: A sweet pastry made from layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup
Weather in Saudi ArabiaThe weather in Saudi Arabia varies depending on the region and the time of year. In general, the country has a hot and dry climate, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to the mid-100s Fahrenheit. The summer months are particularly hot, while the winters are mild.
What are the transportation options in Saudi Arabia?Transportation Options in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia has a well-developed transportation network, with options available for air, land, and sea travel. Some of the most common modes of transportation include: Airplanes: Saudi Arabia has several domestic and international airports, making it easy to travel around the country and connect with other destinations. Trains: The Saudi Railways Organization operates a network of trains that connect major cities across the country. Buses: Buses are a popular and affordable way to travel within cities and between smaller towns. Private Transfers is a great way to explore Saudi Arabia at your own pace. Taxis: Taxis are readily available in most cities and towns.
What are the communication options in Saudi Arabia?Communication Options in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia has a modern telecommunications infrastructure, with good coverage for mobile phones and internet access. Some of the major mobile phone providers include: Saudi Telecom Company (STC) Mobily Zain
What are the safety precautions to take while performing Umrah?Safety Precautions to Take While Performing Umrah Saudi Arabia is a safe country for pilgrims, but it is always important to take precautions to ensure your safety. Some tips include: Be aware of your surroundings and be cautious of pickpockets and scammers. Keep your valuables safe and secure. Dress modestly and avoid drawing attention to yourself. Follow local customs and traditions. Be respectful of religious sites and practices. Seek help from local authorities if you are in any trouble. By following these safety precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable Umrah experience.
Check list for Umrah tourPassport Visa Umrah Permit Flight tickets Accommodation confirmation Travel insurance Currency exchange Vaccination Medication Comfortable clothing Religious items Umrah guidebook
What is Umrah?can be undertaken at any time of the year. It is a lesser pilgrimage than the Hajj, which is obligatory for all able-bodied Muslims who can afford it once in their lifetime. Umrah is a voluntary act of worship that is believed to be highly meritorious and rewarding.
What are the benefits of performing Umrah?There are many benefits to performing Umrah, including: Forgiveness of sins: Muslims believe that performing Umrah forges a strong connection with Allah and can lead to the forgiveness of sins. Spiritual purification: Umrah is a time of reflection and spiritual renewal. It is an opportunity to put aside the cares of the world and focus on one's relationship with Allah. Reward from Allah: countless reward and blessing from Allah
What are the requirements for performing Umrah?In order to perform Umrah, a Muslim must be: Able to travel to Mecca Able to provide for themselves and their dependents during their absence
When is the best time to perform Umrah?Umrah can be performed at any time of the year, but the most popular times are during the months of Ramadan, Rajab, and Sha'ban.
How long does Umrah typically last?Umrah can be completed in a few hours, but most pilgrims will stay in Mecca for a few days or more.
What are the different types of Umrah packages available?There are many different types of Umrah packages available, ranging from budget-friendly packages to luxury packages. The cost of an Umrah package will depend on a number of factors, including the length of the stay, the type of accommodation, and the time of year.
What is the cost of Umrah packages?The cost of Umrah packages can vary depending on a number of factors, but they typically range in Pak rupees from PKR. 170,000/-to PKR. 1,000,000/-
What is included in an Umrah package?Most Umrah packages will include the following: Flight tickets Accommodation Transportation Umrah visa
What are the different types of accommodation available for Umrah packages?There are many different types of accommodation available for Umrah packages, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. The type of accommodation you choose will depend on your budget and preferences.
Visa Requirements for UmrahPlease view requirements here
Check list for Umrah tourPassport Visa Umrah Permit Flight tickets Accommodation confirmation Travel insurance Currency exchange Vaccination Medication Comfortable clothing Religious items Umrah guidebook
What are the Umrah rituals?Umrah is a spiritual journey to Mecca, the holiest city in Islam, that involves performing specific rituals to cleanse oneself and seek forgiveness from Allah. These rituals hold deep significance and are believed to bring immense spiritual rewards to those who perform them with sincerity and devotion. 1. Entering Ihram: Ihram is a state of sacredness and purity that marks the beginning of Umrah. Before entering the sacred precincts of Mecca, pilgrims must perform ghusl, a full-body washing, and don the Ihram garments, two simple white cloths for men and a loose-fitting covering for women. This signifies their detachment from worldly concerns and their complete focus on spiritual matters. 2. Niyyah: Upon approaching the Miqat, the boundary that marks the entry into the sacred area, pilgrims declare their intention to perform Umrah. This is known as Niyyah and involves saying a specific supplication, expressing their sincere intention to undertake the pilgrimage for the sole purpose of seeking Allah's pleasure. 3. Tawaf: Tawaf is the act of circumambulating the Kaaba, the cube-shaped structure at the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, seven times in a counterclockwise direction. This ritual symbolizes unity among Muslims, their submission to Allah, and their belief in the oneness of God. Pilgrims kiss or touch the Black Stone, a revered artifact embedded in the Kaaba's eastern corner, if possible. 4. Sa'i: Sa'i is the act of walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah, located within the Grand Mosque. This reenacts the desperate search for water by Hajar, the wife of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), and her infant son Ismail. It represents Muslims' reliance on Allah's mercy and the importance of patience and perseverance. 5. Halq or Taqsir: After completing Sa'i, men shave their heads or trim their hair, while women trim a small lock of hair. This act of hair removal signifies the shedding of worldly attachments and the completion of the Umrah rituals. 6. Du'a: Throughout the Umrah, pilgrims engage in continuous supplication, seeking forgiveness, blessings, and guidance from Allah. They make special prayers at significant locations, such as the Maqam Ibrahim, the place where Prophet Ibrahim stood during the construction of the Kaaba. 7. Drinking Zamzam Water: Zamzam is a sacred well located within the Grand Mosque. Pilgrims drink its pure, refreshing water, believing it to possess healing properties and spiritual benefits. It symbolizes the miracle of water provided by Allah to Hajar and her son. 8. Farewell Tawaf: Before departing from Mecca, pilgrims perform a final Tawaf, known as the Farewell Tawaf, as a form of gratitude and a reminder of their spiritual journey. They leave the city with a renewed sense of faith, humility, and devotion to Allah.
What is ihramIhram is a state of sacredness and purity that Muslims enter into before performing the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages. It is a time of spiritual reflection and preparation, and it is marked by specific restrictions on behavior and dress. Restrictions on Behavior When in ihram, Muslims are forbidden to do the following: Have sexual intercourse Engage in obscene or immoral speech Commit sinful acts Cut their hair or nails Wear perfume or scented clothing Hunt Wear gloves Get married or arrange a marriage for someone else Men wearing anything on their heads Women covering their faces Dress Requirements Men and women have different dress requirements when in ihram. Men must wear two unstitched white cloths, one wrapped around their waist and the other draped over their shoulder. Women must wear a loose-fitting abaya or jilbab that covers their entire body except for their face and hands. Significance of Ihram Ihram is a reminder that Muslims are guests of Allah and that they should be humble and respectful during their pilgrimage. It is also a time to focus on spiritual matters and to seek forgiveness from Allah. Muslims believe that performing Umrah or Hajj in a state of ihram can bring great spiritual rewards. Entering Ihram To enter ihram, Muslims must perform ghusl, a full-body washing, and then don the ihram garments. Ihram Etiquette There are a number of things that Muslims should do to show respect for the state of ihram. These include: Avoiding loud noises Keeping their bodies clean Being polite and courteous to others Avoiding distractions such as mobile phones and cameras By following these guidelines, Muslims can ensure that they have a meaningful and spiritually rewarding experience while in ihram.
How to perform UmrahHow To Perform Umrah- Step by Step Performance of Umrah is comprised of several key rituals that must be performed in a specific order. These include Ihram, Tawaf, Sa'i, and haircuting. Step 1- Ihram Ihram is the sacred state that a pilgrim must enter to perform the Hajj or Umrah. The process starts with the Niyah, a declaration of the pilgrim's intention, either Umrah or Hajj at the designated Miqat or while on a plane. The Miqat is a boundary set by the Prophet Muhammad and is where pilgrims must enter the state of Ihram. It is recommended to cleanse the body of Armpit & pubic Hair, and performing Ghusal before entering sate of Ihram. Niyah: To make Niyah for Umrah you can recite any one of the following Following are three examples of intentions that may be uttered in Arabic: لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ عُمْرَةً Labbayka llāhumma ‘umrah. O Allah, here I am to perform Umrah. اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ الْعُمْرَةَ Allāhumma innī urīdu l-‘umrah. O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah. اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ الْعُمْرَةَ فَيَسِّرْهَا لِيْ وَتَقَبَّلْهَا مِنِّيْ Allāhumma innī urīdu l-‘umrata fa yassirhā lī wa taqabbalhā minnī. O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah, so accept it from me and make it easy for me. MIQAT On the spiritual Hajj and Umrah trip to the purest place on earth, there are Miqats (Islamic boundaries Prophet Mohammed Peace Be Upon Him determined for Pilgrims to enter Ihram from), either by land points or parallel to Miqat when arriving by air. Dhul Hulaifah, the Miqat of people passing by Al-Madinah Al-Jehfa, the Miqat of people coming from or passing by Ash-sham Qarn Al-Manazil, the Miqat of people coming from or passing by Najd Yalamlam, the Miqat of people coming from or passing by Yemen (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Fareast) Dhat Irq, the Miqat of people coming from or passing by Iraq Step 2- Talbiyah After making your Niyyah, you must recite the Talbiyah to validate your intention and enter into the state of Ihram. The utterance of the Talbiyah is Wajib according to the Hanafi and Maliki schools of thought. The Shafi’i and Hanbali schools consider it a Sunnah. لَبَّيْكَ اللهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ – لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ – إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ – لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ – Step 3- Tawaf Tawaf is an act of worship in which Muslims perform circumambulation around the Kaaba, worshiping Allah and drawing close to Him according to what He has prescribed. Upon reaching Masjid al-Haram, Before starting Tawaf Pilgrim Must recite following اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ طَوَافَ بَيْتِكَ الْحَرَامِ فَيَسِّرْهُ لِيْ وَتَقَبَّلْهُ مِنِّ Tawaf is performed by circling the Kaaba seven times, Pilgrims and Umrah performers begin their Tawaf (circumambulation) from the corner opposite the Black Stone. When they are aligned with the Black Stone, they say بسْمِ اللَّهِ وَاللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ "Bismillah Allahu Akbar (In the name of God, God is the Greatest) Start the Tawaf -Turn to your right and start the first circuit of your Tawaf, ensuring the Kaaba is on your left. Proceed in an anti-clockwise direction Raml In the first three circuits, men should perform Raml, which is the practice of walking briskly, lifting the legs forcefully and sticking out the chest. However, if there is congestion, which is likely to be the case if you’re closer to the Kaaba, only perform this Sunnah if you’re sure you won’t harm or inconvenience others. When they reach the Yemeni Corner, say: رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ “Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire.” They repeat this supplication until they reach the Black Stone. Kaaba is the first house established for humanity and the qiblah (the direction of the sacred shrine of the Kaaba) for Muslims around which they make Tawaf. It has four corners, namely: the Eastern Corner, next to the door of the Kaaba, and it includes the black stone, and Tawaf starts from there. Then there is the Iraqi Corner, then the Western Corner, and the Yemeni Corner which parallels the corner of the Black Stone. Upon completion of Tawaf, it is Sunnah for Pilgrims to pray two short Rak’as behind Maqam Ibrahim. Step 4 - SA'i Sa'i is the act of walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa. This ritual is a reenactment of the journey made by Prophet Hajar, the wife of Prophet Ibrahim, in search of water for her son Ismail. Sa'i symbolises the pilgrim's determination and endurance, as well as their willingness to put forth effort in their pursuit of righteousness. Step 5 - HairCutting The final ritual of Umrah is the haircuting or shaving of one's head. This symbolizes the renunciation of worldly attachments and the purification of one's soul.
How do I perform Umrah?
See section on Umrah on the website
How do I perform Hajj?
See section on The Rituals/Stages of the Hajj on the website
What is the difference between Umrah and Hajj?
Umrah may be performed at any time of the year, but Hajj should be performed during the month of Dhu'l-Hijjah every year.
Who is eligible to go on Umrah?
Only Muslims can enter Makkah and perform Umrah.
Who can perform Hajj?
An adult Muslim of a sane mind, an able body and having means to bear the expenses must perform Hajj once in his/her lifetime. Hajj is not obligatory for children, the sick, and those who cannot bear the costs.
How long does it take to perform Hajj?
Normally 5 to 6 days, but there are exceptions. See main section on The Rituals/Stages of the Hajj
How long does it take to perform Umrah?
A few hours. See main section on Rituals of Umrah.
What is the first thing that I should do to make a reservation for Hajj?
The first thing to do is choose a program that we offer, you can view the programs either on our website, or on our brochure available in our office. Once you choose a program, you may reserve your quota with us after paying full deposit or call Arqem for details.
What happens after I make a reservation and pay the deposit?
Once you have made a reservation and paid a deposit per person, if there is any additional information missing, you will be contacted by a sales representative to assist you in the remaining information needed to complete the reservation. After the reservation is complete, you will receive a confirmation via telephone, or email.
After I receive my complete package with all finalized documents, what is next?
You must review all documents and confirmations to make sure there is no mistake in the arrangement made for you. If there are any mistakes please make sure to contact ARQEM as soon as possible so we may be able to correct it. Please note that this does not mean you can make changes in your reservation.
What is the significance of my ID card and luggage tags?
You will need to have your ID card on at all times starting from your departure from PAKISTAN until your departure back from Saudi Arabia. It is very important that you do so, so any ARQEM representative can recognize you and can assist you in any needs that you may require. The luggage tags are very valuable so the luggage can be identified throughout the trip.
Will any representative from ARQEM travel with us?
Yes group leader & Chief Executive of Arqem Lahore (Pvt) Ltd. Mr. Zafar M. Choudhry or any one of director will accompany you throughout the trip.
Who provides the transportation to the hotel?
Arqem provides all the transportation.
How many people can stay in a room?
It will depend on type of package you choose generally there is a Maximum of six to four people per room at hotel or building in Makkah & Madina.
Do we charge kids for the hotel room?
Call Arqem for details.
How much is one room per night?
It depends on the type Hajj you choose. Call Arqem Hajj for details.
Do my children need the Meningitis vaccine?
If your child is 10 years or younger she/he does not need the vaccine.
For how many years is the vaccination valid?
The vaccine is valid for 3 years.
What kind of vaccination do we have to take?
Any Meningitis vaccine is valid. And any other required by K.S.A or W.H.O.
Where can I find Meningitis vaccine?
You can find it in any leading pharmacy chain, Arqem Hajj arranges meningitis vaccines for our travelers.
What kinds of clothing should I take with me to Saudi Arabia?
The essential thing is two or three sets of Ihram. The Ihram consists of two pieces of white plain cloth, either 100% cotton or light terry-cloth. These are cool to wear and also provide for better absorption of the heavy perspiration you will inevitably experience during Hajj.
Also take with you light and airy clothes for street wear. Take enough clothes to make your stay comfortable, but do not over-burden yourself with unnecessary clothes. Professional laundry facilities are available in Saudi Arabia. If going on Hajj during winter months, take some woolen clothing as the early mornings tend to be cool.
Take also three or four pairs of rubber slippers for use during Ihram, as well as couple of pairs of comfortable shoes or sandals for walking. Also take two large and two small towels.
You may also need sleeping bag for bedding, an inflatable pillow and thick sheets.
Where can I wash my clothes?
There are professional laundry services, but not that many coin-operated launderettes. Detergent to wash your light clothing is also available in the local market.
What is the weather like in Makkah and Madinah?
It is very hot during summer months, with temperature reaching upper 40°C (100°F) during day. During winter times the weather is mild, but early mornings and late nights could be cold.
What is the time-difference in Makkah?
Standard time zone: UCT/GMT + 3 hours. No daylight saving time at the moment.
What is the Saudi currency?
The Saudi riyal is the official currency of Saudi Arabia. Each riyal is composed of 100 hallalahs. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) issues banknotes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 riyals and coins in denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 hallalahs.
The riyal has been fixed against the U.S. dollar since 1986. One riyal equals 0.2267 dollars, and a dollar equals 3.7502 riyals.
Are there any banks in Makkah and Madinah?
There are branches of some big national and international banks in Makkah and Madinah.
What are the opening and closing hours of banks?
In Saudi Arabia the banks are usually open 9.00 am to 12.00 pm and 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm, Saturday to Wednesday. (Thursday mornings only).
Do banks change foreign currency?
Do banks cash travelers' checks?
Travelers' checks could be cashed almost anywhere. Since your passport will be taken away for the duration of your stay by the Saudi authorities in Jeddah, the ID card issued by your Tawafa Establishment will be used for check cashing purposes. Make sure you have travelers checks 'Purchase Receipt' with you, as without it it will be harder to cash them in.
Health Related issues
Do I need any kind of vaccinations?
It is the requirement of Saudi Ministry of Health that all visitors should have a valid vaccination certificate against Meningococcal Meningitis The certificate must have been issued not more than three years and not less than 10 days before arrival in Saudi Arabia.
All travelers arriving from countries known to be infected with yellow fever (as shown in the World Health Organization [WHO] Weekly Epidemiological Record) must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate in accordance with the International Health Regulations.
Where do I go if I am ill? Are there any hospitals in Makkah?
There are many hospitals which provide free healthcare for pilgrims.
Are over-the-counter medicines available in Makkah? Where do I buy them?
Most over-the-counter medicine is available at pharmacies in Makkah. If you are used to a particular brand of medicine or if you take prescribed medication, it is recommended you take adequate supplies of these.
What are the facilities for disabled pilgrims?
The Hajj is physically demanding and should be undertaken only by those who are fit enough to perform the rites. The Holy Quran makes it clear that only those who are physically and financially able are under an obligation to perform Hajj.
That said, there are many disabled Muslims who wish to perform Hajj and, if adequate preparations are made, many can fulfil their wish. Below, we give some guidance but it is imperative that any disabled person thinking of performing Hajj should consult in detail with us before making any bookings.
Airport: There are facilities for the disabled at Jeddah airport.
Transport in the Kingdom: Buses are not equipped to handle wheel-chairs.
Hotels: In general, hotels are not equipped for the disabled, with the exception of some of the top hotels. Again, it is crucial that you check with us before booking, to explain your needs and to ensure they can be met.
Houses: Houses are not generally equipped for the disabled.
Grand Mosque in Makkah: The Grand Mosque is well-equipped for the disabled. It has escalators and ramps to enable wheelchairs to move easily from one level to another. Wheel-chairs are provided free of charge in the Grand Mosque but, if you need to ask someone to push your wheelchair, the pusher will charge for his service.
What is an Ihram and how should I wear it?
The Ihram garments for men consists of two pieces of white sheet. Wrap the larger sheet around your waist to cover your body from the navel to the ankles. Secure the Ihram either with a belt or by a strip of fabric torn from Ihram material. Drape the other sheet over the back and shoulders and wear a pair of stitched or unstitched sandals or shoes which do not cover the ankles and talus bone and navicular. The head should not be covered, and no underwear should be used. The Ihram should preferably be white.
Should women wear the Ihram?
Women are allowed to make Ihram in any dress they wish which fulfills the Islamic conditions of public dress, regardless of the color. Women's hands and face should be uncovered in Ihram. Their heads should be covered.
Are there things I should and shouldn't be doing while I am in a state of Ihram?
Yes, a Muhrim (someone who is in state of Ihram) must observe certain obligations and prohibitions. These are:
Keep your head uncovered at all times. Women should keep their heads covered.
Do not shave, cut your hair, clip your nails, use perfume, or wear sewn clothes of any kind.
Do not perform marriage or get married yourself.
Do not kill an animal of any kind for any reason, unless it poses a danger to you and to the others.
Do not enter into conjugal relations with your spouse. Avoid suggestive and provocative talk or gestures and remain focused on Hajj.
What things should I NOT bring to Saudi Arabia?
Travelers are not allowed to bring any perishable or un-canned food in large quantities. Travelers must not bring alcohol or drugs into the Kingdom. The punishments are severe and can include capital punishment.
Accommodation in the Holy Places
Where do I stay in Makkah?
Your stay in accommodation is arranged by ARQEM. there are different qualities of accommodations, from four star luxurious hotels to rooms through to apartments you share with others. The package you selected will contain details of the hotel/building.
How do I move around Makkah. Is there public transport?
Travel within Saudi Arabia is highly restricted. Pilgrims' travel will be limited to the cities of Makkah and Madinah, to the tent cities of Mina and Arafat and to Muzdalifah.
Pilgrims can also travel by taxis at an extra cost to them.
How long is the distance between Makkah and Mina?
The distance between Makkah and Mina is 8 kilometers (5 miles). Depending on traffic it could take anything between 2 to 4 hours. It may be better to walk the distance sometimes.
How long is the distance between Mina and Arafat?
The distance between Mina and Arafat is 14.4 kilometers (9 miles).
Where do I stay in Mina?
Mina is a well-organized tent city, with sectors and a secure precinct. Each tent can house between 20 to 40 people. Each tent has air conditioning unit and several power points. There are separate cooking areas and there are toilets with showering facilities in each precinct. ARQEM will organize your accommodation in Mina.
Food and Drink
Is the drinking water safe?
You may either drink bottled mineral water or drink from water fountains available for drinking throughout the holy sites. Use of boiled or sterilized water is not a must. Zamzam water is always safe.
Is the food safe? What foods should I avoid?
Avoid eating exposed food and meat from the counter. Make sure you eat cooked meat and fish, preferably hot. Cook vegetables and eat peeled fruit. Also always boil the milk.
Can I use my mobile phone/cell phone in Saudi Arabia?
You can use mobile phones to keep in touch with your group and also to phone home. SIM cards, only valid for a month, are available over the counter in most phone shops in Makkah and Madinah. Before leaving, make sure your phone can accept any SIM card, as opposed to being tied to a network.
What do I do if I am lost? Where do I go for help?
If you are lost, there are "Pilgrim Assistance Booths" set up all over and they will help you to find your hotel, tents, etc. Make sure you have your ID card and your ID bracelet with you at all times.
It is advisable to agree on a well-known location/landmark to gather in case somebody gets lost
Are there any hidden fees in the packages?
No there are no hidden fees in the packages, Sacrifice and food is not included in the package. Call Arqem For Details.
How much are the packages?
The packages vary according to the program.
When is the deadline for the payment?
All of the payment should be submitted at the time of booking or before application date closes.
What is our cancellation policy?
Call Arqem hajj for details.