Hajj Step-by-Step: A Practical Guide

To assist with your sacred journey to Makkah, this Hajj guide offers useful advice for lodging, transportation and personal safety, as well as other practical Hajj information.


Patience is one of the best Hajj tips to remember. You will be among a multitude of other pilgrims. Try to remain calm and seek less-crowded areas. You also will have a more tranquil trip if you know what to expect and how to navigate the pilgrimage.

Walk, Bus or Train on Your Muslim Pilgrimage

One of the most convenient ways to complete the Hajj steps is aboard the Al-Mashaaer Al-Mugaddassah Metro. Known as the “Hajj Metro,” the rail service has modern air-conditioned trains that transport pilgrims between the holy sites of Makkah, Mina, Mount Arafat and Muzdalifah. Speed is a big plus. In mere minutes you can complete a journey that takes hours on foot.

Given congestion along the Hajj route, walking can actually be faster and more convenient than bus travel. Buses offer relative comfort, but they can break down or get stuck in traffic for hours on end. Walking requires more exertion but can enhance your spiritual experience – with the sacred ground beneath your feet and fellow pilgrims at your side.

What to Expect in Mina

The first stop after your initial Holy Kaaba rite, Mina serves as a base for much of your journey. The sight of white tents stretching to the horizon can be both impressive and imposing. While not luxurious, communal tents provide sufficient amenities for comfortable stays. Air conditioning staves off the desert heat. Electricity powers fluorescent lights and wall outlets for charging mobile devices.

Tents are grouped into camps according to country. Each camp has a kitchen, washing facilities and bathrooms (bring your own toilet paper). Breakfast is often a boxed meal of bread, fruit and pastries. You can expect a dinner of rice and meat. Beverages and snacks are available at the kitchen throughout the day. In case you forget where your tent is or become lost along the sprawling network of paths, your badge is color-coded for your country and has your camp’s number on it.

Evening Under the Stars in Muzdalifah

After Hajj steps in Arafat, you will spend the night on the hardscrabble plain of Muzdalifah. This is one of the best-known and least-comfortable parts of the journey for many. Rather than a sleeping bag, it’s a good idea to buy a cheap sleeping mat in Makkah. An inflatable pillow will also be useful.

While all pilgrims spend a night under open skies, not all spots in Muzdalifah are equal. Some travelers gather in cramped areas by roads, where fume-spewing buses pass by throughout the night. Others are in spaces where travel organizers have erected wooden privacy walls and set up soft mattresses with sheets, blankets and pillows. A good organizer will even provide the pebbles needed for the upcoming Stoning of the Devil ritual.

Safety During the Stoning of the Devil

Exercise caution while performing the Stoning of the Devil ritual in Mina. In years past, the rush of pilgrims performing the rite has led to stampedes. The government of Saudi Arabia has since instituted stronger safety measures, but it’s still a good idea to be mindful of crowd issues as you approach the site at Jamarat Bridge. Extreme weather is also a concern. Daytime temperatures can climb to 106°F (41°C) under an unrelenting sun. You should bring an umbrella for shade and plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

After the Pilgrimage

After performing the Farewell Tawaf at the Grand Mosque, you are free to explore. Many pilgrims visit Madinah, home to the final resting place of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). A VIP bus service can take you from Makkah to Madinah in five hours. If you’re looking for Hajj souvenirs for loved ones back home, there are a variety of shops along the streets by the famed Prophet’s Mosque.

As you prepare to depart for home, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the pilgrimage, your stronger relationship with Allah and the deeper understanding of Makkah’s heritage you will carry with you on your journey through life.

Hajj with Children: a survival guide for families!

Is Hajj for kids? From packing and preparation to advice for navigating the challenging journey, here’s what you need to know prior to performing Hajj with the family.

Before setting off on a trip to Makkah with the family it’s important to understand what to bring, safeguards to take and ways to engage children on the sacred pilgrimage.

Find Child-Friendly Hajj Packages

Search for organizers with services that cater to kids. For example, some packages offer to have guides supervise children while you perform Hajj rituals.

Essential Items for Makkah with Kids

The desert sun can be harsh on both you and your children. Bring an ample supply of sunscreen and a hat for each member of the family. You’ll also want to travel with plenty of water bottles as dehydration will be a concern for much of the journey. Consider snacks that can withstand heat such as dried fruit, granola bars and individually wrapped hummus tortillas. A travel pillow will be indispensable when your child wants to sleep.

There are pros and cons to bringing a stroller. It’s useful to have one while shopping in Makkah and traveling from hotel to mosque. A stroller that reclines to a flat position is also great for sleeping. However, strollers are not allowed in or around the Grand Mosque during Hajj. Also, keep in mind you can hire a wheelchair to ferry children around Makkah. So it might not be necessary to lug a stroller around for the entire trip.

Clothing for Hot Days and Cool Nights

Children should dress for hot weather in Makkah. While kids are not required to wear Ihram clothing, the loose lightweight garment is still a good idea. It’s also a good opportunity to teach them that simple clothing is worn to express that all are equal before Allah. Evening temperatures drop in the desert climate so you should also have clothing for cool weather. It’s a good idea to bring blankets or sleeping bags for your night under the stars at Muzdalifah and Mina.

Document Hajj Steps in a Family Diary

Keeping an account of one’s pilgrimage is a time-honored tradition in Makkah’s heritage that’s almost as old as Hajj itself. It’s also a wonderful way to bring the family together to recount shared experiences, discuss each day’s events and record how they impacted members of the family. Let the older kids write about the activities in their own words and have a parent write for younger children. Encourage them to draw pictures depicting what they witnessed each day. The diary will be a memento that’s cherished for generations.

Educate and Entertain with Digital Devices

Your smartphone or tablet can be an invaluable tool that both educates and occupies young minds on the journey. Online stores have lots of Hajj-related apps that will come in handy on long rides. Check out Learn Hajj Games and Salah for Kids. You can also download e-books such as Tell Me About Hajj and Muslim Child to teach about the importance of Hajj in inspiring and interactive ways. If you have a reliable Internet connection, watch any number of kid-friendly YouTube videos that illustrate the significance of the pilgrimage. Feeling retro? Buy some animated Hajj DVDs from Amazon to play on your laptop.

Make a Hajj Map

Visuals are a great way to engage children. You can download and print an online map of the Hajj steps or create your own. Make the map in black and white and have the kids color each step as they’re performed. Let children draw the hill of Mount Arafat as you explain the importance of the site where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) preached his final sermon. Fill the sky over Muzdalifah with stars as you teach your children why pilgrims spend a night in the open. The map will also make a wonderful keepsake your family will treasure for years.

Consider a Safety Plan

Getting separated from a child is one of every parent’s greatest concerns. An identification bracelet for your child can give you peace of mind. You can order one online. YouTube videos can help you make a fun and fashionable wristband. Include the names of both the child and parents, your hotel and a local phone number in both English and Arabic. Keep in mind that Hajj locations can get crowded and chaotic. So it’s a good idea to always agree on a meeting point in the event of separation.

A pilgrimage during childhood doesn’t free one from the obligation of Hajj during adulthood. But the journey can be an inspiring spiritual experience that helps children gain a deeper understanding of their faith.

How to prepare for a Hajj pilgrimage

Wondering how to get to Makkah and what to bring? Enjoy a smooth trip with essential Hajj tips to help with booking, packing and budgeting for your sacred pilgrimage.


From important rituals and spiritual preparation to package pitfalls and financial considerations, here’s what you need to know before setting off on your Makkah travels.

Overall Planning for a Pilgrimage to Makkah

Your once-in-a-lifetime journey requires physical, spiritual and practical preparation. While modern transportation makes Hajj accessible to pilgrims of all fitness levels, it can still be an arduous trip. Start a workout regimen that includes walking and strength-building exercises at least a month before you leave. Add more fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods to your diet. If necessary, consult your physician to get approval for travel. Your paperwork needs to be in order, so pay attention to visa requirements. It’s a good idea to make a will before you leave.

Spiritual preparation is equally important. To attain the needed state of purity, you must repent sins, redress wrongs and reconcile unsettled issues with people in your life. Practice patience, avoid conflict and refrain from sin as you strengthen your relationship with Allah. Learn your prayers by heart and study the Hajj rituals you will soon perform.

Booking a Trip to Makkah

Don’t trust just any Hajj organizer you find online. Book with an agency authorized by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. For protection against fraud, pay with a credit card instead of a debit card or bank transfer. Get as many details as you can about the Hajj package, such as Makkah hotel names and the number of people who will share a room. Inquire about included meals, in-country transportation and the distances between locations on the itinerary. As Muzdalifah has limited facilities and can get crowded, it’s a good idea to get specifics about your night under the stars.

But booking Makkah travel isn’t just about logistics and physical comforts. Read online reviews to find agencies that can cater to your spiritual needs as well. Consider group dynamics to make sure your companions have like-minded spirits.

Packing for Your Muslim Pilgrimage

As you could be away from home for weeks, begin with a complete packing list. Three sets of Ihram clothing are advisable, as you’re almost guaranteed to get them dirty while outdoors. Bring two types of footwear — durable waterproof slippers for bathroom visits during the pilgrimage, and comfortable shoes for long walks. A pocket Quran will come in handy, as will a pocket prayer mat when you find yourself on the go at Salah time. Consider downloading the sacred text to your phone, along with a guide to Hajj rituals.

You’ll want a small backpack for incidentals on your trip to Mina. An umbrella will shade you from the desert sun. Remember that toiletries should be scent free. Search online for halal-friendly travel kits that include sunscreen, conditioning shampoo, unscented soap and lip balm.

Considering Hajj Costs

During the journey, pilgrims must be debt free with enough savings to provide for dependents at home. While the pilgrimage is affordable for most locals, those living outside of Saudi Arabia can expect the total cost to range from US$3,000 to US$10,000 per person. You will use cash for many of the day-to-day expenses. See if you can exchange money at home so you’ll have at least 500 Saudi riyals (US$130) when you arrive. To get cash while in the Kingdom, you’ll find an ample number of banks, currency exchanges and ATMs in and around Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah.

As Saudi Arabia can be an expensive country, make a budget and consider what costs you will incur. If your mobile plan doesn’t have international coverage, a local SIM card (about US$100) allows you to stay in touch while away from home. Does your Hajj package include dining at local restaurants? You will also want to budget money for sadaqah (charitable giving) and the Eid al-Adha ritual; the obligatory animal sacrifice costs between US$80 and US$150.

From upscale boutiques to bustling open-air markets, Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s most memorable shopping opportunities. Make a list of people you wish to buy Hajj souvenirs for, and plan how much you intend to spend on each.

But the best Hajj preparation tip is also the simplest: Open your heart to the wonders that await.

Discover the 5 key benefits of Hajj

Are you considering performing Hajj? Here are some major benefits of Hajj for you and your family.

Islam involves daily acts of worship such as prayer, weekly acts such as Friday prayers, and annual acts such as fasting over Ramadan. The Hajj pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime act of worship. It brings great spiritual benefits to the pilgrim and his or her family.



The Hajj helps you learn patience and self-restraint


A pillar of Islam

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, required of all Muslim adults who are physically and financially able to make the journey. Those who perform the Hajj, known as Hajjis, may be treated with renewed respect in their communities. They may also gain self-esteem for having paid this respect to Allah.

Learn patience, self-restraint and endurance

However you make the Hajj journey, it will probably involve long and tiring travel. The rituals themselves may be strenuous, particularly during Makkah’s hot summers and amid crowds of other pilgrims. With good planning and high-quality accommodation, you can avoid some hardships. However, one of the benefits of Hajj is to learn patience and to stay strong even when experiencing temptation or tiredness.

A spiritual and historical travel experience

Before, during and after Hajj, you can visit places where historical and religiously significant events took place. For example, you can pay your respects at the cemetery of Jannat Al Mu’alla, where some of the Prophet (PBUH)’s ancestors were buried. Museums in Makkah include the Kiswa Factory, where the Kaaba cover is crafted each year, and the Exhibition of 2 Holy Mosques Architecture about the Grand Mosque in Makkah and Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.

Strengthen the unity of Muslims

Hajj cleanses the soul, bringing purity, hope and renewal. By strengthening individual faith, it also strengthens the unity of all followers of Islam. Ihram clothing minimizes differences between Muslims of different nationalities and social classes. The Hajj, by bringing together so many Muslims in one place at one time, enhances communication and strengthens shared identity.

Discover Saudi Arabia

As well as visiting Makkah, pilgrims can discover some of Saudi Arabia’s other important cities and destinations. In the port city of Jeddah on the Red Sea, you can explore the old town, Al Balad, and walk along the Corniche next to sandy beaches and the sea. East of Makkah in the Sarawat Mountains, the resort town of Taif is popular for its cooler weather and greenery. After the Hajj or Umrah, pilgrims often travel to Saudi Arabia’s second holiest city, Madinah, to pray in The Prophet’s Mosque.

Booking Hajj or Umrah

As the Hajj is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and can be strenuous, it is important to stay in a comfortable hotel. When booking your Hajj trip, consider staying at one of these 5-star hotels in Makkah, located in Abraj Al Bait within walking distance of the Haram.



The Hajj brings together followers of Islam from around the world

Learn what to wear for the Hajj and Umrah

Do you ever feel confused about what to wear during Hajj or Umrah? Ihram clothing is obligatory during the pilgrimage and is an essential part of entering the state of purity and devotion known as ihram. Here are some essential guidelines to help you plan your clothing.


What to wear for the Hajj

Family of pilgrims wearing ihram clothing


Ihram clothing symbolizes the unity of Muslims and minimizes visible differences between them. Its simplicity and uniformity make it hard to tell the rich from the poor, the rulers from the ruled. Note that you can change ihram clothing at any time if it is torn, dirty, invalid or contaminated by perfume.

Ihram clothing for men

Men’s ihram clothing consists of two white cloths, without seams, hems or buttons.

  • The bottom half, the izar, is wrapped around the waist covering the area between the navel and feet.
  • The top half, the rida, covers the left shoulder at all times. The right shoulder should be exposed while performing the tawaf.
  • Don’t wear underwear, socks or any other clothes, and don’t cover your head.
  • Wear footwear that reveals the ankles and toes.

Ihram clothing for women

Women’s ihram dress is a loose (not tight-fitting) robe covering the whole body.

  • The robe can have seams and buttons, but should be free of adornments or colors.
  • It can be white or black.
  • Your hands and face should remain exposed.
  • Wear shoes that cover the entire foot.

Learn more practical tips for Hajj and Umrah

For more practical advice, see our day-by-day Hajj guide or Umrah guide.

The Many Benefits of Zamzam Water

Aside from being one of the most important rites of passage in Islam, Hajj and Umrah are wonderful pilgrimage experiences that enable visitors to discover the hidden secrets and beautiful locations of the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia. One of the most astonishing features of the city is the Zamzam Well located within the Masjid Al Haram, a mere 20 metres east of the holy Kaaba.


Ancient mythology tells the tale of Abraham’s infant son, Ishmael, and his mother Hagar, who were left stranded in the desert, thirsty and tired, when a source of miraculous water sprang up at their feet to satiate them. This became known as Zamzam Water.

Today, the Zamzam Well is one of the most visited places in Islam and considered one of the rewards of Hajj and Umrah. Part of Accor Hotels’ Hajj & Umrah Packages, the visit to the Zamzam Well is one of the tour highlights as Zamzam Water itself has long been considered as one of the purest on earth, with a slew of health benefits associated with it.

1. Zamzam Water enhances energy levels in our cells
The head of the largest medical center in Munich, German scientist Dr. Knut Pfeiffer, has long been studying the effects and benefits of Zamzam Water. One of his most fascinating theories was that the water increases energy levels and strengthens the cell systems of the human body, which he was able to prove with plenty of research and countless trials.

2. Zamzam Water contains no germs or bacteria
While Hajj & Umrah benefits are endless on a religious and personal level, your visit to the Zamzam Well will surely prove to be one of the highlights of your experience. According to Dr. Yahya Koshak, and following a series of tests using ultraviolet tech through Europe and Saudi Arabia, Zamzam Water was found to be completely free of germs and bacteria because of its high levels of fluoride.

3. Zamzam Water is known for its purity
With a perfect bicarbonate amounts higher than the total found in water sourced from the French Alps, Zamzam Water is commonly known to be the purest on the planet.

4. Zamzam Water is rich in Calcium and Magnesium

You might want to take this into consideration on your next Hajj & Umrah procedure. Zamzam Water has been scientifically proven to contain very high levels of Calcium and Magnesium, which can help decrease fatigue. This also provides the water with healing qualities thanks to high fluoride levels similar to conventional medicine properties.

5. Zamzam Water encourages the growth of healthy bones

Because of Zamzam Water’s abundance of Calcium, the water positively affects the human body, especially the bones as they absorb the vitamins and benefit from them for better growth.

The list of Zamzam Water health benefits can go on and on and on. Zamzam Water, after all, has long been regarded as one of the purest and most spiritually-healing bodies of water on earth. So next time you book one of our luxury 5-star hotels in Makkah that are specially designed for Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, make sure to try the Zamzam Water and experience its qualities and benefits for yourself.

Your Guide to Umrah Rituals

Assalamu’alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

 In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

What is Umrah

Umrah is a beautiful spiritual journey taken by every single Muslim to acknowledge Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala – Glory to him, the exalted) as the harbinger of peace and to commune with him to purge the impurities within. Any pilgrim who proceeds on this journey, goes along the path to purifying their soul, heart mind and body from the sins committed in the past to be distinguished from others on Resurrection day.

Essentially, the Umrah means ‘a visit’ to the Holy Kaaba (the Sacred House of God) in Arabic and can be performed by anyone, anytime of the year; unlike Hajj, which is an obligatory pilgrimage to Makkah, performed every year within the first 10 days of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah.


Umrah Rituals – How to Perform Umrah

The acts of faith performed by all pilgrims during their spiritual journey to the Holy Kaaba are collectively known as the Umrah rituals.

Depending on whether one wishes to perform Hajj after the commencement of Umrah rituals, there are two types of Umrah: Al Umrah Al Mufradah (optional before Hajj) and Umrah Al Tammatu (obligatory before Hajj).

Following are the four acts of Umrah Al Mufradah that involve fulfilling some religious duties and rituals, each anchoring the pilgrim in the right moment towards complete atonement.

Ihram from Miqat – The intention to perform Umrah

Before pilgrims wish to enter the Al Masjid Al Haram (the sacred boundary of Makkah) and move across to perform Umrah, they should wear Ihram in order to make haram and traverse the five different areas of Miqats in the Haram boundary:

  • Dhu’l Hulaifah (Abbyar Ali) is for pilgrims coming from or through Madina
  • Al-Juhfah (near Rabigh) is for pilgrims coming from or through Syria, Morocco, or Egypt.
  • Qarn-al manazil (As-Sail Al-Kabeer) is for pilgrims coming from or through Najd or Taif.
  • Yalamlam (Sa’adiyah) is for pilgrims coming from or through India, Pakistan or Yemen.
  • Dhat `Irq is for pilgrims coming from or through Iraq.

Prior to visiting the sacred boundary of Makkah, pilgrims are mandated to assume a state of Ihram, which is the combined sacred act of Niyyah and Talbiyah necessary to perform Umrah. Niyyah is the innate intention to perform an act of worship, while Talbiyah is a special prayer said in supplication.

To become a Muhrim (a pilgrim that has attained the state of Ihram), a pilgrim must prepare himself for Ihram by following the below steps as instructed by the Prophet (PBUH):

  • Performing ablutions – cleansing the body to attain physical purity, which involves some rituals that are mandatory (Mushtahab) and others, are preferable for Ihram:
  1. Ghusl (Mustahab)
  2. Perfuming the head & beard. (Mustahab)
  • Clipping finger & toe nails (Preferred)
  1. Trimming moustache (Preferred)
  2. Shaving off unwanted body hair (Preferred)
  • Changing into the sacred attire of two-pieced white Ihram sheets (Izar and Rida) for men and ordinary Islamic clothes for women. Both, men and women, should wear the flip-flops or sandals that expose the middle bones of the midfoot.
  • Performing the two Rakats of Salah al-Ihram while covering the head.
  • Pronouncing the Niyyah as the Miqat approaches
  • Reciting Talbiyah repeatedly while traversing the Miqat stations in the sacred boundary of the Grand Holy Mosque until the commencement of Tawaf before travelling to Makkah for the next step of Umrah.

Tawaf – Circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba in worship

After assuming a state of Ihram, the Muhrim performs the obligatory act of Tawaf in the Al Masjid Al Haram. The Muhrim must stop reciting the Talbiyah and start circumambulating the holy Kaaba seven times (as a reminder of the angels that circumambulate the celestial realms of Allah’s house, al-Bayt al-Ma’mur), by setting their right foot in and making Idtiba’a. Men must bare their right shoulder by placing the Rida under their right arm and the lower parts of it over their left shoulder during the entirety of Tawaf.

 They must circumambulate the Masjid Al Haram by starting from the Black Stone and completing it there at with the sincere intention of seeking closeness to Allah. The worship is validated only if the pilgrim recites the prescribed du’aa (supplication) during each one of the seven circumambulations.

Pilgrims can to Istilam (kiss or gesture towards the Black Stone), if he/she can during the circumambulations. Otherwise, they can touch it with their right hand and start moving towards completing the seven anticlockwise circumambulations while reciting du’aa with the holy Kaaba on their left, without any interruptions or distractions.

During the first three circumambulations, only the men must make Ramal (fast-paced walk on entry into the holy Kaaba) and the remaining four are completed by walking (at a normal pace) between the al Rukn al Yamani (the Rukn of the holy Kaaba) and the Black Stone.

The last circumambulation ends exactly where the first one began, to ensure that the pilgrim completed all seven rounds without moving or falling behind a single step or more. And with the seventh round of circumambulation and performance of eight Istilam, the state of Tawaf concludes. At this point, men must cover their shoulders with the upper part of the Ihram sheet.

Upon completion of Tawaf, pilgrims can go behind Maqam Ibrahim (the station of Ibrahim) and perform Salat of Tawaf to offer the two short rak’aa’s and thereafter drink the holy Zamzam water from Well of Zamzam in the basement of the Sacred Mosque while supplicating to Allah.

After drinking Zamzam, pilgrims then proceed to the Multazam, a section of the holy Kaaba between the Black Stone and the door of the Kaaba, to supplicate to Allah and offer du’aa.

Sa’iy – Walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah in worship

Umrah pilgrims intending to make Sa’iy must make their way out of the Al Masjid Al Haram towards the Masaa’ (the place of Sa’iy) which commemorates the struggle Prophet Abraham’s wife Hazarat Hajra went through to search for water for her son in between the hills of Safa in the south and Marwah in the North. In essence, Sa’iy is a great way to spend some time on self-reflection and self-realisation.

Pilgrims start Sa’iy by going up the hill of Safa to see the holy Kaaba from the Safa door. They must face the Kaaba with utmost devotion and love, while raising their hands to supplicate to Allah. They must then descend from Safa and walk towards the hill of Marwah while reciting the supplication Subhan Allah and keep moving until they reach two green pillars between which only the men have to run through while the women walk at a normal pace. When on top of Marwah, praise Allah facing the Kaaba and recite the supplication mentioning Allah.

The procedure continues with pilgrims going from Safa to Marwah and returning back to Safa, until the they complete seven laps in total. Each round is nearly 450m long. The seventh round will end at Marwah where all pilgrims must stand facing the Kaaba and repeat the same supplications that were recited at Safa. Men must perform Sa’iy with their shoulders covered.

After offering two Raka of Nafl (at a desirable time) in the Al Masjid Al Haram, pilgrims should come out of the Holy Mosque with their left foot out and then offer a du’aa.

Halq (shaving the head) or Taqsir (clipping or shortening of the hair for men and women)

Finally, the last step of your journey, shaving or clipping the hair in Mina. Men should get their head completely shaved, or get their hair clipped. While women are forbidden to shave their heads and only allowed to have a lock or strand of their hair clipped. The act of cutting the hair symbolizes one’s detachment from physical appearances and complete subjection to Allah.

All the prohibitions imposed on the conduct of pilgrims by Irham are lifted, upon completion of this last obligatory ritual. They can then remove Ihram sheets and change into their regular clothes.

Discover some of the best 5-star hotels in Makkah near haram abound with amenities perfect for pilgrims, families and business travelers.

Discover the Top Things to Do in Makkah

Makkah, the most sacred place in Islam, is the focal point for Islamic religious pilgrimages. Every year, the Saudi Arabian city beckons millions of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims from far and wide to several of its important religious sites that offer interesting glimpse into its formidable connection with the historical past of Islam.

Apart from its rich history and spiritual significance in the Islamic wold, Makkah also offers plenty of remarkable things to do and see for its visitors to partake in.



Kiswa creation for the Holy Kaaba at Al Kiswa Factory


Hot weather in Makkah and how to handle it

Are you travelling to Makkah in Saudi Arabia? Be prepared for the weather with these hot tips!

Makkah climate

Like most cities in the Arabian Peninsula, Makkah has a hot, dry desert climate. At the start of summer, around June, the temperature can rise to as high as 47°C (117°F). Summer sees regular sandstorms.

In winter, Makkah enjoys a warm climate with temperatures ranging between 25°C (77°F) during the day and 17°C (63°F) at night. There is some rainfall during winter, plus occasional storms and strong winds.

Top tips for dealing with hot weather in Makkah

Walking or hiking during Hajj or Umrah, especially in the middle of the day, can cause heat stroke. Protect your body from the scorching sun by following these simple tips:

  • Use umbrellas to avoid exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Rest between rituals and avoid making more effort than necessary.
  • Use sunscreen to avoid sunburn and dry skin, especially before performing sa’ay and tawaf in the afternoon.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (especially Zamzam water!) and avoid fizzy drinks because they can make you feel thirstier.
  • Take a light jacket in case of wind and carry a blanket for overnight stays.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible in tents and when walking or performing rituals.
  • Of course, stay in a hotel with reliable air conditioning and good ventilation – such as one of the AccorHotels in Makkah.
Bright sunshine over Masjid Al Haram

Crowds and hot weather in Makkah can cause health problems

5 amazing Makkah hotels – steps from Al Haram

Every pilgrim wants to stay as close as possible to Makkah’s holy sites. Luckily there are five amazing luxury Makkah hotels to pick from, just steps from the Grand Mosque. Here’s an overview of the best Umrah and Hajj accommodation you can wish for:

AccorHotels offers a collection of 5-star hotels in Makkah near the Grand Mosque. For your once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage, experience the tranquility and comforts of staying in world-class accommodation with easy access to Makkah’s holy sites and Abraj Al Bait.

Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower: a stunning landmark

Located in the Abraj Al Bait complex, Makkah’s Fairmont hotel rises 76 stories just south of the Grand Mosque. Each of the 1,650 rooms and suites offers breathtaking vistas of the holy city. Some directly overlook the Kaaba – the point toward which the world’s faithful pray. The view at night, when the Grand Mosque sparkles with light, is especially inspirational.

This 5-star hotel in Makkah is just a few meters away from King Abdul Aziz Gate, as well as world-class shopping and international restaurants.

Raffles Makkah Palace: classic elegance, personal service

The name Raffles is synonymous with Old World elegance and personal service. Located directly south of the Grand Mosque, the refined Raffles Makkah Palace hotel more than lives up to the Raffles reputation. The suites delight and soothe pilgrims with inspiring mosque views, rich furnishings and personal butler service.

The hotel is well known for its local and international cuisine. The nearest entrance to the Grand Mosque is just minutes away, enhancing your spiritual experience and elevating your stay in the blessed city.

Swissôtel Al Maqam: magnificent views, generous cuisine

A refined blend of clean European design and warm Arabic décor, the high-rise Swissôtel Al Maqam hotel opened in April 2017 in Tower F of the Abraj Al Bait complex. The rooms have magnificent views over the Kaaba or city.

Islam’s holiest sites within the Grand Mosque are easily accessible via two private entrances leading to Um Al Qura Tunnel or Al Khalil Street. Enjoy attentive hospitality, generous cuisine and peaceful accommodation.

Swissôtel Makkah: modern style and service

Contemporary style, perfect bedding, Swissôtel’s signature breakfast buffet, breathtaking Kaaba or city views… guests of this luxury hotel return here again and again. As Swissôtel Makkah is located within Abraj Al Bait, the Grand Mosque is easily accessible via the Abraj Al Bait Mall or directly from Ajyad Street.

Pullman ZamZam Makkah: enjoy the latest technology

Named after the well that sustained the Prophet Ishmael (PBUH) and his mother, the Pullman ZamZam Makkah hotel offers global pilgrims tranquil and relaxing Hajj accommodation. Each room or suite has the latest technology, including online check-in, complimentary high-speed WiFi and in-room Haram audio. All guests enjoy direct access to the Grand Mosque via King Abdul Aziz Gate.

Stay close to the Grand Mosque

Whether you’re in Makkah for Hajj or Umrah, you want to be as close as possible to the city’s holiest sites. More time for contemplation and religious rituals, less time spent traveling between your hotel and Al Haram (the Grand Mosque).

Chefs preparing food in the Swissotel Makkah hotel restaurant

Renowned cuisine at the Swissôtel Al Maqam hotel


Raffles Makkah Palace suite

Many suites in the Raffles Makkah Palace hotel overlook the Haram

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