To Madinah

ﻣﺤﻤﺪ

HAJJ PRACTICALITIES

TO MADINATUL MUNAWWARAH

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Hotel Accommodation Contract

 

The authorities concerned may not allow you to proceed to Madinatul Munawwarrah if you do not have the contract of your hotel accommodation on hand. Ensure that either you have it or that your agent's representative has it.

 

Jeddah to Madinatul Munawwarrah by Air

 

It is advisable to go by air to Madinah, as the journey is only 40 minutes. These Hujjaajj will have their passports taken away on checking in for Madinah and will only receive them on their departure from the kingdom.

 

The Madinah check-in and departure lounge is located within the Hajj Terminal. It has an ablution block, toilets and a small prayer area. It also has a small shop selling tea/drinks/cakes/biscuits etc.

 

Sometimes the waiting period here can be very long as the planes only takeoff when full! At such times you may start wishing that it would have been better to have gone by road after all!

 

Other disadvantages of going by air will be the need to sort out the passport matters in Madinah and on arrival in Jeddah on the return. Secondly, you will not have the group cover or support from the guides.  Thirdly, any extended stay in Madinah as a result of flying to Jeddah will have to be paid for by you.  Finally, there is no guarantee that the "unused" transport voucher for travel to Jeddah from Madinah on Muassassas coach will still be intact for refund.

 

Arrival at Madinah Airport

 

On arrival at Madinah airport, after immigration and custom formalities, (or internal air travel formalities), you will be met by Muassassas officials, who will take away your passport and issue you with a white business card which will depict the physical address of their offices where your passports will be kept. On the reverse of this card, the nationality, (as on your passport), and number, will be endorsed by them. If not, then you should do it yourself before handing them the passport. Ideally you are supposed to be given an identity card depicting your particulars and those of the Muassassas office.

 

If you are not in a formal organised group of a minimum number of 40-45, then you will proceed to the pre-booked hotel using your own transport. From Madinah airport to the Haram is 10 SR per person in transportation arranged by Aadillah Establishment. No taxis or private vehicles are allowed for this sector.

 

Madinah Airport to Hotel

 

The driver will then drop you at your prepaid, (and pre-booked), hotel/apartment block, (if he can find it as usually the drivers are hired helping-hands from surrounding countries during the Hajj period!). Ideally, the Muassassas office is now supposed to transport you and your luggage to the lodging you have paid for and help you in ALL your needs, including the actual visitation to Masjid-e-Nabawi.(However, such services we have personally yet to encounter!)

 

Jeddah to Madinatul Munawwarrah by Road

 

If you had planned to go by road to Madinah from Jeddah then you are compelled by law to utilize the Muassassas bus services. No private mode of transport such as taxis or GMC's are allowed by law.

 

Those Hujjaajj going to Madinah by road, (approximately 425 km on a dual carriage highway), will have their passports given to the bus/taxi driver. The buses will only depart when they are full; thus there may be unavoidable delays.

 

Before boarding the bus, ensure that you have canned drinks, mineral water and snacks with you as the journey can be as long as twelve hours because of various checkpoints. The best time to travel by road is after Esha as it is cooler and one does not have to worry about any impending Farz Salaat. However, of late, there are some restrictions as to the last time one can leave by road for Madinah at night because of an increase in road carnage due to night travel.

 

The bus will leave Jeddah and make one or two stops before Hijri (Government Bus Depot) outside Madinah. The toilet facilities are not good at these stops but are improving. Food is available at these stops.

 

At Hijri, the stop is for about an hour during which your passports are processed. If you are delayed here, (which is more than likely), then know that there are adequate toilet, Wudhu, Salaat, café and medical facilities present inside this building.

 

However, when you alight make sure you know how to return to your bus as all the busses and drivers look alike! Note the plate number of the bus and where the bus has finally halted. Use permanent land markers as reference points and not food vendors who are constantly moving.

 

Pilgrims Grouping Centre

 

On reaching Madinah city, the driver will first stop at the Muassassas office where your passports will be handed over to the officials in exchange for the same individual white business card described above. Thereafter the bus will drop you off at the designated hotel.

 

Johannesburg to Madinatul Munawwarrah by Air

 

Only Saudi Arabian Airlines and of late, Emirates, land at Madinah airport.

 

Immigration and customs formalities similar to Jeddah Hajj Terminal, albeit less people.

 

Upon exiting the terminal, you will be met by the Hajj Ministry officials who will retain your passports and the Hajj Drafts. Thereafter, you will be met by one of the travel agent's members outside the terminal building. This travel agent will only be able to assist passengers arriving in Madinah if they are arriving as a group on one of the flights booked by them. The reason is that clearance and assistance will be done as a groupo through prior permission via the relevant authorities. All other passengers arriving on their own individually-booked flights at their respective times will have to complete the formalities on their own and then proceed to their pre-booked hotels thereafter.

 

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copyright February 2006 (Muharram 1427)

(updated December 2013 - Safar 1435)

Jeddah Airport South Terminal Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) at Madinah Airport Masjid Nabawi (East) Green Dome Masjid Nabawi (Aerial View)