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.