SPECIAL REPORT: Interesting places to visit after performing Umrah in Makkah
Doing the Umrah usually means also visiting historical sites and other places of interests in Mecca. Here are some interesting things to do in Mecca after doing your Umrah that might be a little bit different than the standard tours.
Every year, Muslim pilgrims make their way to the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj and Umrah. While the Hajj is performed during specific dates in the Muslim calendar (between the eighth and 13th days of the twelfth month of the Muslim calendar year), Umrah may be performed at any time of the year, including during Hajj. The Umrah also has fewer steps than the Hajj, and there are fewer restrictions for entering the city for Umrah, compared to the Hajj, when there are quotas for how many pilgrims are allowed to come each year. Thus, when one goes on the Umrah pilgrimage, the travel agency will also bring them on a tour of interesting places and interesting things to do in Mecca. Here are some activities that visitors to Mecca can visit – that are separate from standard Umrah activities – after performing the Umrah or in between Umrah sessions.
Hudaibiyah Camel Farm
Visiting the Hudaibiyah Camel Farm is a fun way to learn about the Treaty of Hudaibiyah and how Umrah started. (Photo: Symphony Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd)
On most Umrah tours with tour agencies, pilgrims will be brought to the outskirts of Mecca to visit historical sights outside of the city. If you’d like to check it out alone, search for Hudaibiyah Camel Farm or get a taxi to bring you there. The drive will take about 30 minutes. Here, you can see how camels are bred and shepherded, and also get the experience of watching these magnificent creatures up close, ranging from babies to adults. Visitors may feed the camels and buy fresh camel milk here. The camel farm is often on the way to or from the Hudaibiyah Mosque, the site of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah – a historical moment directly related to the act of Umrah as this is the treaty that led to the first Umrah by the Prophet Muhammad and his followers. The Prophet and his followers had moved to Madinah after clashes with the polytheists of Mecca, and this treaty demonstrated how Islam had spread through peaceful discussion and diplomacy, and not just through battles.
Address: FJ85+8P, Almorshediah 25319, Saudi Arabia
Al Amoudi Museum
See how Arabs lived hundreds of years ago at Al Amoudi Museum. (Photo: Regency Holidays)
If you’d like to see how the Arabs lived in the olden days, get to Al Amoudi Museum for a peek at this. It’s a 25-minute drive from Masjidil Haram and displays the way of life of the desert Arab tribes hundreds of years ago.
Many who have gone there have good things to say about the immersive displays, including everyday items, art, weaponry and costumes. The exhibits also include a glimpse into the life of Arabic Royalty back then, and where you can don traditional costumes for a memorable photo with your travel party. What’s interesting about this museum is that even though it’s quite new, the building had been built the traditional way, using a mixture of clay mud, milk and date palm leaves.
Location: Makkah – Jeddah Highway, Al Hamra Umm Al Jud, Mecca 24337, Saudi Arabia
Mecca Desert Safari by Alwasayet
A day of desert activities ends with a motivational lecture followed by BBQ dinner for participants of the Mecca Desert Safari (Photo:
Fancy having dinner under the stars in the middle of the Arabian desert, but not too far from Mecca? The “Mecca Desert Safari” by tour agency Alwasayet can make that happen for you. The safari includes a four-wheel-drive (4×4) drive across the desert, horse-riding and All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) rides, before being brought to the “Bedouin Pavilion,” with a setup with carpets covering a large area of sand where you will listen to a motivational lecture (it still is Umrah, after all) before enjoying a sumptuous BBQ dinner. The lamb and vegetables would have been cooking the Bedouin way – inside the sandy ground for a few hours – while you were having fun, so look forward to the most succulent lamb you have ever had in your life.
Location: Outskirts of Mecca
Dinner With A View at Al Shorfa
Enjoy dinner at Al Shorfa Restaurant while taking in the view of the Masjidil Haram from above, 11 floors up. (Photo: Al Shorfa)
If you’re uncomfortable making trips into the desert, you do not have to venture far from the city for immersive experiences during your Umrah trip. You can enjoy quite a few things in the Mecca city centre and many are not too far from Masjidil Haram.
One of those experiences would be having dinner while taking in the grandeur of Mecca. Book a dinner reservation at Al Shorfa restaurant on the eleventh floor of Al Marwa Rayhaan Hotel, part of the Abraj Al Bait complex – yes, the Clock Towers with the seven towers, and sit at the balcony area for a view over Masjidil Haram while dining. They have a good continental spread open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but don’t miss the biryani rice and authentic Arabian dishes.
Address: Al Shorfa Restaurant, Al Marwa Rayhaan by Rotana, Aiyad Street, Abraj Al Bait, 24231, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Museum of Makkah (Mecca)
Visitors at the Mecca Museum admiring one of the doors to the Kaaba on display. (Photo: visitsaudi.com)
Officially known as the Al-Zaher Palace Museum, this museum is a 15-minute drive from Masjidil Haram and has on display artefacts representing various historical periods in Islamic history and more modern and contemporary pieces such as one of the doors of the Kaabah.
The two-storey building may look unassuming externally, but it is a veritable treasure trove. Seven halls contain more than 100,000 items on display, dating back hundreds of years. One very interesting piece of information to be learned here is about the process of codification of the Arabic language after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, an important process that likely played a large part in the preservation of the words of the Quran to remain exactly the same now as it was back then.
Address: Mecca Museum, Makkah Al Madinah Munawwarah Road, Mecca Saudi Arabia
The Makkah Al Mukarramah Library
The Makkah Al Mukarramah Library is built on the site believed to be the place Prophet Muhammad was born. (Photo: Gettyimages)
This library was built on the site where it is widely believed that the Prophet Muhammad was born. If you’re a book lover or history buff, this is worth checking out while also adding more value to your Umrah by learning about the history of Muhammad. If you’re coming from outside Masjidil Haram, ask the driver to bring you to Bayt Al-Mawlid, which means “House of the Birth” in Arabic.
Location: Near Masjidil Haram
Some of these activities might be included in your Umrah travel agency’s itinerary, but you may have to arrange your own transportation for others. If you need to find a ride, Careem is the Mecca and Madinah version of your Uber or Grab. You can also get a taxi but make sure you negotiate prices beforehand and that the driver commits to it. Have a safe and enjoyable Umrah on your next trip there, and remember, have patience and redha always!
SOURCE: yahoo news
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