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Apr 30

How to select a Hajj agent

In addition to giving due consideration to family / business / employment commitments, listed below is a non-exhaustive list factors to consider before shortlisting your Hajj Agent. As this is not a book, I’d only give teasers for points to consider before making your decision.

Feel free to use this Hajj Package Comparison Template for your usage!

  • Agent
    • Depending on where you reside, you would have either a handful or hundreds of agents to choose from.
    • Pick the one that has some form of repute.
    • Feel free to ask them for references from their past pilgrims.
  • Package Duration
    • Packages range from 15 days to 45 days, perhaps even more!
    • See what fits you / your group the best!
    • Don’t be surprised if you find that a longer duration package has the same cost or is even lower than the shorter duration package!
  • Package Dates
    • While the actual Hajj ritual days & dates are firm (give or take two days), agents have their packages that commence with the onset of Hajj ritual days or finishing with the Hajj ritual days. For example: the agent may have their 45 day package either starting a day or two before the Hajj ritual days or a package that starts much earlier and finishes immediately or a day or two after the Hajj ritual days.
    • You may want to factor this information alongside your business / employment / leave / family related commitments
  • Mode of Travel
    • Depending on where you reside, you may have the option to travel by air, land or sea! And the prices would vary accordingly
    • Considering by foot? – A Bosnian brother, Senad Hadzic, apparently did a 4000 mile trek from Bosnia to for his pilgrimage. As I don’t know this individual, you can get in touch with him through his Facebook page should you consider this option – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Senad-had%C5%BEic-put-svjetlosti/226286214123645?ref=ts&fref=ts
    • Flight options
      • A direct flight is always attractive, however for those who haven’t been through long haul flights – its best to take connecting flights or even breaking your journey midway and spending a day or two in the transit port.
      • A Hajj package itinerary typically includes Makkah and Madinah too. The nearest airport to the these cities would be Jeddah and Madinah respectively.
      • For ease of travel and lessening the stress – it would be best to arrive into one port at the beginning of your trip and depart from the other at the end of your trip. Ideally into Madinah first as the pilgrim rush at Madinah is far less compared to that of Jedda. For example: Dubai – Madinah & Jeddah – Dubai. This way, you don’t have to travel back to Madinah for your onward flight back home. Of course, this option is subject to flight options to your city
  • Accommodation
    • Distance from your Madinah accommodation to Grand Mosque
    • Distance from your Makkah accommodation to Grand Mosque
      • Shifting Category
        • During the peak days of Hajj rituals alongside another few days on either sides; few agents move the pilgrims to another set of accommodation which is away from the Grand Mosque in areas like Aziziya and Huzaifah. This lowers the cost considerably, however this may also cause you to miss few prayers in the Grand Mosque.
    • Distance from Mina Tent to Jamaraat
    • Distance from Mina Tent to Metro Station
    • Number of people per room in Madinah accommodation
    • Number of people per room in Makkah accommodation
    • Number of people per room in Aziziya/Huzaifa/similar area for Shifting category (if applicable)
    • Number of people in Mina Tent
    • Availability of pillow/bed/mattress/sofa-cum-bed/blanket in Mina Tent
    • Availability of pillow/bed/mattress/sofa-cum-bed/blanket in Arafat
    • Availability of pillow/bed/mattress/sofa-cum-bed/blanket in Muzdalifa
  • Toilets
    • Availability & ratio of toilets in Mina
    • Availability & ratio of toilets in Arafat
    • Availability & ratio of toilets in Muzdalifa
    • Factor in availability & ratio of sitting style and squatting style toilets, if needed!
    • Squatting style toilets are generally more in number than sitting ones, so if you are not used to it – practice it heaps before your journey.
  • Food
    • Inclusion of three meals per day in Madinah
    • Inclusion of three meals per day in Makkah
    • Inclusion of three meals per day in Aziziya/Huzaifa/similar area for Shifting category (if applicable)
    • Inclusion of three meals per day in Mina
    • Inclusion of meal(s) in Arafat
    • Inclusion of meal(s) in Muzdalifa
    • If the package doesn’t include meals, you can have them at the restaurants and cafeterias. Be prepared for long queues and bring an additional bag of patience along.
  • VIP Service
    • A VIP package differs from one agent to another. It can include one or more of the following:
      • Meals during Hajj ritual days
      • Attached toilets in the Mina tents
      • No stays in Aziziya / Huzaifa / similar area
      • Lesser number of people in Mina tents
  • Ground Transportation within Saudi Arabia
    • Airport transfers
    • Inclusion of ziyarah (visit) to famous sites within Madinah [optional not mandatory]
    • Transportation between Madinah and Makkah
    • Transportation to Mina
    • Transportation from Mina to Arafat [Bus / Foot / Metro / Other]
    • Transportation from Arafat to Muzdalifa [Bus / Foot / Metro / Other]
    • Transportation from Muzdalifa to Jamarat [Bus / Foot / Metro / Other]
    • Transportation from Jamarat to Grand Mosque [Bus / Foot / Other]
    • Transportation from Grand Mosque to Mina [Bus / Foot / Other]
    • Transportation from Mina to Jamarat [Bus / Foot / Metro / Other]
    • Transportation from Jamarat to Mina [Bus / Foot / Metro / Other]
    • Note that the “Other” mode of transport especially from Jamarat to Grand Mosque could cause a dent to your pocket as it’s a commercial time for owners of scooters, bikes, buggies, cabs, etc… Shared vans are available but they’d wait indefinitely until their vehicle is full load.
  • Value Add Services
    • Dedicated Doctor for the entire group
    • Dedicated Scholar for the entire group to prepare you during the rituals and also answer any queries that you may have
    • Saudi SIM card
    • Unlimited access to bottled mineral water during stay in Makkah / Madinah / Shifting / Mina / Arafat Muzdalifa
  • Cost
    • Various package / budget options.
  • General Package Inclusions & Exclusions

 

3 comments

  1. Hello Madinah

    It’s rather a interesting and handy little bit of information Hello Madinah. I am satisfied that you just contributed this handy data with us. Be sure to stay you informed like this. Thanks for expressing.

  2. Sabah

    Thankyou so much for such a comprehensive list of questions. May Allah swt bless you for your effort in simplifying the task of ‘hajj package shopping!’!

    1. Noaman Sayed

      Thank you and wish you the same!

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