The approach of the holy month of Ramadan is anticipated to witness a rise in the number of individuals undertaking the Umrah pilgrimage, driven by the cooler weather conditions prevalent during this period.
With less than two months until Ramadan commences, there has been a noticeable surge in demand for Umrah travel packages among Muslims. Travel agencies have observed a remarkable uptick in inquiries, with a notable 200 percent increase reported in the number of UAE residents expressing interest in performing the pilgrimage compared to other months.
Expectations among Umrah operators are buoyant, particularly due to the prospect of a larger influx of pilgrims during Ramadan, which coincides with the winter season. The more moderate temperatures are anticipated to entice a greater number of devout individuals to embark on their spiritual journey during this opportune time. Qaiser Mahmood from ASAA Tourism in Abu Hail disclosed that his agency receives a substantial volume of inquiries daily from residents eager to fulfill their religious obligations during Ramadan.
Standard Umrah packages typically commence at Dh3,000, but prices surge by approximately 25 percent during the initial 20 days of Ramadan, starting at Dh3,700. Furthermore, costs may escalate further if pilgrims opt for single-room accommodations, depending on the hotel's category and location. While accommodations during the first 20 days usually cover a five-night stay in Makkah and Madina, hotels extend their services for the entire duration during the last ten days, as shorter stays are less common.
As the month progresses, particularly during the final ten days, package prices witness a nearly 100 percent increase. Therefore, aggregators advise prospective pilgrims to book their packages early to avail themselves of cost savings on accommodations. Mahmood emphasized the importance of early booking, stating that packages for the last ten days of Ramadan can reach up to Dh40,000, encompassing visa procurement, flight tickets, and lodging arrangements.
In addition to conventional travel methods, Umrah by bus has gained popularity in the UAE, with packages starting at Dh2,500. According to Imran Mohammed from Al Tarwiyah Haj and Umrah service in Sharjah, individuals opting for bus travel during Ramadan are typically bachelors and businessmen, while families often choose to undertake the pilgrimage during school breaks. Imran emphasized that package costs primarily hinge on accommodation expenses, which tend to escalate during the holy month. He highlighted the spiritual rewards associated with performing Umrah during Ramadan as a key motivator for pilgrims.