The memories of your Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage will last a lifetime, but you may also want to buy some souvenirs. Here’s a quick guide to shopping, including what to buy in Makkah.
While fulfilling a sacred duty is your primary purpose for visiting Makkah, shopping for gifts lets you return home with keepsakes of your incredible journey. The city has ample shopping options, ranging from market stands to luxury boutiques. Makkah’s malls, shopping centers and hypermarkets are cool, comfortable and modern.
Makkah Store Hours
Shops in Makkah are generally open from 9am to midnight Saturday–Thursday, and 2pm or 4pm until midnight on Friday. The exception are some shops around the Grand Mosque, which are open 24/7. Large supermarkets like Bin Dawood, Panda, Noori and Carrefour are open from early morning until past midnight.
What to Buy in Makkah
As the religious capital of the Islamic world, Makkah is the place to buy prayer mats, prayer beads (misbaha), Holy Qurans and bottles of Zamzam water. Other popular souvenirs are ouds (a pear-shaped string instrument), attar (perfume) and miswaak (teeth-cleaning twigs). Dates are commonly sold in Makkah, although they are often cheaper in Taif, the mountain resort city 100km east of Makkah. Gold is a popular purchase for travelers to Makkah, as it’s said to be less expensive and of higher quality than gold from elsewhere.
Makkah Shopping Districts
The city has several areas dedicated to shopping. The ultra-modern Abraj Al Bait complex is home to a five-story mall. Commonly called the Clock Tower, the high-rise complex is adjacent to Al Haram and a convenient place for pilgrims to find almost anything they need. Similarly, dozens of large and small shops around the massive mosque sell gifts, souvenirs, prayer mats and refreshments.
The neighborhood of Aziziyah has luxury boutiques, shopping complexes and outlets offering international brands along Al Masjid Al Haram Road. Other major shopping districts are Al Ghaza and Ajiad, with an assortment of gift shops and perfume stores. The large Makkah Mall is located southeast of Al Haram, near the Mina train station. Al Diyafa Mall is another modern complex to the northwest.
The holy city is a great place to find thawbs (long robes for men and women), abayas (cloaks worn over thawbs), hijabs (headscarves) and other clothing from across the Islamic world. Markets such as Souq Al Otaibiah are good spots to discover deals on ready-made apparel, fabrics and custom tailoring. Be sure to bargain!