This is an updated article that I initially wrote in 2019 on who is DIY Umrah for and what the benefits are. It was then that Saudi Arabia opened the tourist visa and made it possible for Muslims to plan and do their own Umrah so much easier.
When I started writing about DIY Umrah in 2012, it was so much harder to actually issue your own visa as the agent had the monopoly and Umrah packages are what made them money. They lost almost overnight 70% of their business due to the fact now people can book their own cheaper Umrah options (this is a comparison on both).
Don’t get me wrong there are still benefits to packages and if this is what you want then definitely go for it.
DIY Umrah For?
I would say DIY Umrah is open for everyone who is comfortable enough to plan a big holiday. People usually stress when planning their own Umrah because of the emotional aspect. It can feel overwhelming.
I do have a full guide on how to plan your Umrah and a resource page with information for you.
Here is who I feel planning their own Umrah will benefit:
- Those on a tight budget (you can save 40% approx)
- Those comfortable travelling alone in a new country and navigating it.
- People who have already been there before
- Quick Umrah weekend trips with budget airlines
- Those who like flexibility when travelling
This website receives thousands of views every month meaning there is demand that is only growing when it comes to the benefits of DIY Umrah and more people taking advantage of them.
Now with budget airlines like Wizz Air flying to Saudi, you can easily go for under £100 return.
Benefits of DIY Umrah
Personally for me, one of the biggest benefits of DIY Umrah is the fact I can actually save a tremendous amount of money with travel hacking.
This is what has saved me over £50,000 on Umrah alone during Ramadan while staying in 5-star hotels.
We pay on average £250 per night when we stay in hotels near Haram instead of the crazy £1,000 per night using travel hacking.
I have a book that shows you exactly how you can do that for yourself below.
Travel Hack your Umrah and save up to 70% on 5-star hotels in Makkah and Medinah.
The updated 2.0 version of this book can save you thousands every year on your Umrah and general travels.
Of course you can even plan your own Ziyara trips since now you can find guides on websites like Viator for Makkah and Medinah where you can hire them. Or you can arrange with a taxi driver to take you around. it really depends on your personal preferences.
Things are changing, technology is helping the situation and modernisation. Saudi Arabia has made tremendous advances in a short time to issue more and more visas for people to visit and also Umrah. We will see this increasing in the future as well.
The best way for them to achieve their 2030 vision is to let people start becoming independent when it comes to their Umrah pilgrimage.
This sadly also means that it will be much busier than usual and more crowded with less off-peak season than we have now.
Personally, I don’t feel that Umrah should be for a special once in a lifetime trip as it was before.
The times have moved and we should too.
Especially today where the young generation has so many distractions and issues. Umrah should be a spiritual uplift to keep us grounded in what is the most important part of our life; Islam.
Visiting the holy cities will only reinforce this feeling and teach us what is precious to us. I know for a fact half of my duas were answered whilst praying at the Kabah, and I would not have changed this for the world.
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