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


Delight your friends with these sensational Hajj souvenirs and gift ideas

If you’re lucky enough to perform Hajj or Umrah, take back a piece of your joy to your loved ones at home. Any gift or souvenir from Makkah is priceless – but some are more special than others. What gifts and Hajj souvenirs should you buy for your friends and family during your stay in Makkah?

Umrah and Hajj souvenirs

Prayer mats, prayer beads, Holy Qurans and bottles of Zamzam water are easy to find in Makkah, particularly around the Grand Mosque and Abraj Al Bait. Don’t forget practicalities, though. Instead of a large, bulky prayer mat, for example, look out for a light, soft mat made from cashmere.

Zamzam water is hard to transport by plane, although some airlines allow transportation of up to 5 litres with special packaging. It’s best to find out the rules in advance.

Prayer beads (misbaha) are a wonderful gift and easy to transport, but take time to choose them carefully. The quality of the beads varies from cheap plastic up to sparkling crystal costing hundreds of riyals.

Local gold & handmade clothing

Gold in Makkah is known for its high quality and value, with much of the jewelry made from 21-carat gold in Jeddah. You may prefer gold pieces – necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets and more – with local designs rather than those imported from India.

Your family will also love traditional clothing items such as thawbs or thobes (men’s white robes), abayas (long cloaks for ladies) and hijabs (headscarves). If you’re in a hurry, you can find high-quality ready-made clothes of all types in Makkah’s many shopping malls.

If you have more time, consider visiting one of Makkah’s skilled tailors around market areas like Souk al Otaibiah, who can make special custom-made items with the cloth of your choice.

The smell of Makkah: oud perfume & incense

Everyone loves perfume oils (attar) and incense. Real oud perfume, made from the wood of the tropical agar tree, is one of the most expensive in the world – so if you’re offered oud perfume at a cheap price, it’s sure to be a fake.

Natural toothbrushes known as miswaak make a small, easy-to-carry gift if you’re traveling with hand luggage.

Ajwa dates & other special treats

Be careful when buying food items as gifts, as some foods such as dates and fruit may be confiscated by customs when returning to your country. If that’s not an issue for you, buy some ajwa dates, which are grown in Madinah and were said to be favored by the Prophet (PBUH).

You can find plenty of other foods suitable for gifts, such as dried fruits, spices and chocolates, in the shops around the Grand Mosque.

Made your shopping list?

Now check out our article recommending the best places to shop in Makkah.

Abraj Al Bait

Shop for souvenirs at Abraj Al Bait Mall

Gold jewelry diamond shop with rings and necklaces luxury retail store window display showcase

High-quality gold jewelry from Makkah is a wonderful gift

Introducing the best places to shop in Makkah

Stay cool on your trip to Makkah by visiting some of the city’s most sensational shopping malls – or venture outside to explore the buzzing market streets. Impress your family and friends by taking them straight to the best shops!

Abraj Al Bait Mall: everything you need and more

The size of Abraj Al Bait Mall is jaw-dropping: 4,000 stores over five levels and parking space for 1,000 cars. Part of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project, Makkah’s most famous commercial complex stands directly in front of King Abdulaziz Gate, steps from the Grand Mosque.

Women will love the local and international clothing brands and perfume stores, as well the collections of accessories and bags. Looking for a gift to take back home? There are plenty of gift shops selling just what you were looking for – even if you didn’t know what you were looking for.

There’s no chance of going hungry at Abraj Al Bait. The mall’s international food court on the 4th and 5th floors has restaurants and cafés with a capacity of over 5,500 people. You can tuck into anything from fast food to fine dining. For a coffee break, experience the refinement of the Makkah Raffles Café with its balcony overlooking the Grand Mosque.

Al Aziziyah, a shopping hotspot

The Aziziyah district, a 10-minute walk east of the Grand Mosque, is famous for its markets. Al Aziziyah Central Market is a popular place to shop after Hajj, packed with clothes, textiles, bags, shoes, cosmetics and household appliances. If you’re looking for gold and jewelry, this is a great place to come.

Right next to Al Aziziyah Central Market, Al Majaz Market has international brands and a wide range of textiles and jewelry shops. The kids will love the children’s play area on the ground floor.

These aren’t the only shopping centers in Al Aziziyah. Stroll a few minutes and you’ll see many other enticing malls, including Al Salam Shopping Center, the International Family Complex and Aryam International Mall – and more! Whatever you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it here.

Makkah Mall, great for kids

Walk southwards in the Aziziyah neighborhood and you’ll discover Makkah Mall on King Abdullah Road. This large shopping center features more than 140 brands and entertainment areas, including the Billy Beez amusement park for children and a branch of Hyper Panda supermarket. Take the family – they’ll love it!

You’ll find plenty of cafés and restaurants amongst the shops, as well as a food court with a wide range of international choices. It’s only a 15-minute walk from the Grand Mosque and has good parking facilities, so you’ll see many other visitors and pilgrims exploring the shops.

Stop at Al Hijaz Mall on the way to Jeddah

Located on the Makkah-Jeddah highway, Hijaz Mall is a great place to stop on your way into or out of the city. One of the oldest shopping centers in Makkah, it is known for its stores selling gold, textiles and clothing.

Al Hijaz Mall features a branch of the Jarir Bookstore and a special section for women’s evening dresses. Kids will love the entertainment area on the first floor.

Modern design at Al Diyafa Mall

One of the trendiest malls in Makkah, Al Diyafa (which means “hospitality”) is located on Al Hajoun Street in Al Zaher district. The striking modern building contains good facilities for women and families, including a children’s play area and several restaurants. You can find the most famous international fashion and cosmetics brands here.

Bustling markets

If you’re seeking high-quality goods at low prices, come to Makkah’s oldest popular market, Al Otaybi Market. It’s about 3 km away from the Grand Mosque and bustles with 2,000 shops over several streets, selling everything from souvenirs to abayas and gold. Wear comfortable shoes (or buy some when you’re there). Men can also find high-quality clothes at good prices.

Al Otaybi Market is so popular that during Ramadan and Hajj season it can be extremely busy – so try to come earlier in the day and be prepared for a crowd!

For traditional gifts and souvenirs, you can also try Al Siteen Street Market at the western entrance to Makkah.

Need more shopping secrets?

For directions and shop opening times – especially during Ramadan and other festive periods – simply ask the concierge of your hotel.


Abraj Al Bait Mall - interior

Shop in style and comfort at Abraj Al Bait Mall

Makkah jewelry shopping

Makkah is a great place to buy gold and jewelry

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