My Experience Performing Umrah in Saudi Arabia 2023

As a pilgrim embarking on the journey to perform Umrah, I was filled with a mix of emotions: excitement, anticipation, and reverence. The two-week trip to Saudi Arabia was more than just a spiritual pilgrimage, it was a cultural immersion and a personal journey of self-discovery.

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The first stop of the trip was the holy city of Makkah, where the focal point of the journey awaited: the Kaaba. Upon my arrival, I was struck by the sea of people from different corners of the globe, united in their worship of Allah. As I joined them in performing Tawaf around the Kaaba, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and humility at the sheer magnitude of the experience.

Aside from the Kaaba, Makkah also boasts a range of other sacred sites, each with its unique history and significance. One of the most memorable experiences was visiting the Prophet Ibrahim’s station and reflecting on the lessons of faith and sacrifice that his story embodies. Another highlight was performing Saee between the hills of Safa and Marwa, retracing the steps of Hajar in search of water for her infant son.

During my stay in Makkah, I had the opportunity to try a variety of local dishes, ranging from the savory lamb stew called “mandi” to the sweet and sticky dates. I also had a chance to explore the bustling markets, where vendors hawked everything from perfumes to prayer beads. One particular vendor stood out to me, an old man with a kind smile who insisted on offering me free prayer beads as a gift.

As for accommodation, I was fortunate enough to stay in the Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower, where I woke up to an awe-inspiring view of the Kaaba every morning. The hotel’s luxurious amenities, including an on-site spa and fitness center, made it a perfect oasis after a long day of worship and exploration.


After a week in Makkah, it was time to journey to the second holiest city in Islam: Madina. The city’s calm and serene atmosphere was a welcome contrast to the bustle of Makkah. The highlight of the visit to Madina was undoubtedly the Prophet’s Mosque, where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is buried. I was moved to tears as I stood in front of the Prophet’s grave, offering my prayers and seeking his intercession.

Beyond the Prophet’s Mosque, Madina has much to offer in terms of history and culture. I visited the Quba Mosque, the first mosque ever built in Islam, and marveled at the intricate tile work and calligraphy. I also hiked up Mount Uhud, where the Battle of Uhud took place, and soaked in the breathtaking views of the city.

When it comes to accommodation in Madina, the Shahd Al Madina (Shaza Al Madinah is old name) was my top pick. The hotel’s elegant decor and impeccable service made me feel like royalty, and its proximity to the Prophet’s Mosque made it the perfect base for exploring the city.


Before returning home, I had the chance to stop in Jeddah, the commercial capital of Saudi Arabia. The city’s vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere was a refreshing change of pace, and I couldn’t resist indulging in some retail therapy at the gold souq. I left with a beautiful necklace and a newfound appreciation for the art of haggling.

Overall, my journey to perform Umrah in Saudi Arabia was an unforgettable experience that will stay with me for a lifetime. The combination of spiritual fulfillment, personal reflection, and cultural immersion was truly enriching. I would highly recommend this journey to anyone seeking to deepen their connection with their faith and explore a new culture.

When it comes to accommodations in Makkah and Madina, there are several options to choose from. In addition to the Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower and the Shaza Al Madina, I would also recommend the Raffles Makkah Palace for its stunning views of the Haram and its luxurious amenities. Another great option in Madina is the Dar Al Taqwa Hotel, which is just steps away from the Prophet’s Mosque and boasts traditional Arabian decor.

Of course, no trip to Saudi Arabia is complete without indulging in some local cuisine. In addition to the mandi and dates that I mentioned earlier, I highly recommend trying the traditional breakfast dish called “foul,” which consists of mashed fava beans and spices. Another must-try is the “kabsa,” a rice dish with tender chicken or lamb and a blend of aromatic spices.


In conclusion, my journey to perform Umrah in Saudi Arabia was a life-changing experience that left a deep impression on me. From the spiritual significance of the holy sites to the vibrant culture of the cities, every aspect of the trip was filled with wonder and discovery. Whether you’re a devout Muslim or simply curious about exploring a new culture, I encourage you to consider embarking on this journey of a lifetime.


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