6 Tips To Plan Your DIY Umrah Trip In 2022 And Visit These Breathtaking Destinations In Saudi Arabia


Farah Fazanna •  Sep 09, 2022

ICYMI, Saudi has offered tourist visas since 2019. This can only mean one thing for those who are planning to do their Umrah — no more going through travel agents with fixed itineraries now that you can plan your own journey! How, you ask? Well, you’ve come to the right place. With BudgetAir, you can book your own flights, accommodation and transportation all on one site quickly, easily and securely and travel at your own convenience! Pssst… Get an RM100 or S$50 discount on all flight bookings to Saudi Arabia when you book before 30 September 2022!

Tips To Plan Your DIY Umrah

Visited by millions of people annually for Umrah and Hajj, the teeming city of Mecca is top of the list for many Muslims. It has gotten easier and cheaper to visit the holy city now that you can apply for a tourist visa. Planning a DIY Umrah is just like planning a holiday — book a flight and accommodation, and put together an itinerary! To make it easier for you, we’ve put together six tips that you can use while planning your own Umrah trip. Check it out!

1. Book your flights

First thing first — book your flight tickets! The best part about planning your own Umrah trip is that you have the flexibility to choose the airline and the timing you prefer. Check out BudgetAir, where you can book return flights from Kuala Lumpur to Saudi Arabia from RM3,000 and get an RM100 or S$50 discount on all flight bookings when you book before 30 September 2022!

2. Book your hotel

Planning your own Umrah trip can help you ensure that you keep to your budget. You can opt for a hotel that suits your interests and preferences; perhaps somewhere quieter, in a more peaceful location, or a hotel that puts you at the heart of Mecca. Whether you’re looking for budget accommodation or a more luxurious hotel with a prime location, the good news is that you can book a flight and hotel combo on BudgetAir to save more!

3. Apply for eVisa

Credit: Ishan @seefromthesky onUnsplash

Now that you’ve booked your flights and hotel, it’s time to apply for the eVisa! You need to book the flights and hotel first as you’ll need the details when applying for the eVisa. All you need is a valid passport, a recent photograph, an email address and a debit or credit card to pay for the visa! If you’re wondering if you could perform Umrah using the eVisa, yes, you can. Umrah can be undertaken at any time of the year with the eVisa. However, travellers with an eVisa cannot perform Umrah during Hajj season as you’ll need the Hajj visa to carry out a pilgrimage then. 

Once you’ve completed the application form electronically, you’ll receive the approved visa by email in about 5 to 10 minutes. It is the most convenient way to apply for a Saudi Arabian visa for Umrah! Check out how you can apply for the eVisa here.

4. Arrival in Saudi Arabia

Jeddah is the nearest city to fly into if you’re heading to Mecca. After a long flight, why not spend the night in the Red Sea City to unwind before making your way to Mecca to perform your Umrah. You can travel to Mecca by bus or rent a car on BudgetAir!

Don’t forget to go to the Ministry of Haj and Umrah website to check on the process for getting a permit before you travel to Mecca! 

5. Money

Credit: said alamri onUnsplash

The Saudi currency is the Saudi riyal (SAR). Electronic payments including Apple Pay and Google Pay are widely used in Saudi and international credit cards are widely accepted. You’ll also find plenty of ATMs, including in shopping malls and gas stations, so you don’t need to worry about getting cash.

6. Food and drink

There are plenty of food options in Saudi and you can indulge in some delicious delicacies in Mecca and Medina. From splurge-worthy restaurants to pocket-friendly street food, there is a vast variety of food available near the mosques so you don’t ever have to worry about where to eat while you’re here!

7. Explore Saudi Arabia before or after your umrah

Now that the planning part of your Umrah journey is over, why not take some time to discover what Saudi has to offer? Since you can even stay in the country for up to 90 days, now is the time to explore other cities in Saudi while you’re there! The destination is the perfect mix of adventure, culture and history. It’s also the ideal stopover destination on the way to Europe or the United States from Kuala Lumpur. We’ve rounded up some of the must-visit destinations in Saudi. You can hire a car on BudgetAir and travel to these places easily. So, be sure to add these places to your list too!

6 Places To Visit In Saudi Arabia

1. Edge of the World

The Edge of the World a.k.a Jebel Fihrayn is one of Saudi’s most popular tourist destinations. It got its nickname from the uninterrupted view of the horizon it offers atop its 300-meter-high cliffs, which overlook the surrounding plain. From the top of the cliffs, you’ll spot dried rivers weaving across the land and may even see camels moving far below — an ancient caravan route once passed through these grounds. 

#HHWTTip: The Edge of the World is about a two and a half hours drive from Riyadh city centre. Do take note that you should book a tour guide as you need a proper 4x4 to get there. A good pair of walking shoes are a must!

2. Rijal Alma Village

Situated in the Asir region of Saudi, Rijal Alma Village is undoubtedly one of the most historically important and beautiful villages in the Middle East. Famous for its fascinating architecture, rich history, pleasant weather, and beautiful landscape, this small village served as the regional trade centre for centuries and was the natural passage that connected Yemen and Lavant to Makkah and Madinah. It’s definitely a must-see if you’re in the country!

3. Maraya

Maraya is a stunning piece of art set in the desert canyon of Ashar Valley. Designed to blend into the surrounding landscape, it rises from the sand like a mirage. The state-of-the-art structure is covered in 9,740 mirrored panels reflecting AlUla's beauty, making it the largest mirrored building in the world! As the perfect modern ode to the past, Maraya is the centrepiece of AlUla's growing cultural scene. From spectacular concerts and thrilling performances to art residency programmes and arthouse films, AlUla is emerging as a cultural centre on a global scale. 

4. Haql Shipwreck Beach

If you’re on the lookout for new adventures in the Kingdom, Haql Beach with a sunken shipwreck should be on your list. Located in the Tabuk Province, the half-sunken ship is a sight to behold! You’ll have a scenic backdrop of mountains, crystal blue waters and the mysterious sunken ship in the middle of it. The mountains of Sinai can also be seen from a distance. According to the locals, the ship is a Greek vessel that apparently hit a reef and it sank about two decades ago.   

#HHWTTip: The area is an undiscovered gem so you’ll likely have the beach all to yourself so be sure to bring enough food and water. 

5. Jebel Al-Lawz

The Jebel Al-Lawz, whose name means the almond mountain in Arabic, is one of the most mythical mountains in Saudi. Did you know that the Jebel Al-Lawz is the ONLY place in the country where snow falls every year? Yes, that’s right! It’s the highest mountain in the north of the country and it is located beyond the northern tip of the Red Sea and its warm waters, this mountain is more exposed to low temperatures and sees snow more often than any other area of Saudi. The Jebel Al-Lawz also has some archaeological sites such as an ancient quarry and very old rock art representing bovines that are now non-existent. ​

6. Umluj

Also known as the Maldives of Saudi Arabia, Umluj is the perfect holiday destination if you want to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can take a boat to one of the 100 islands like Jabal Hassan and enjoy frolicking in the cotton candy sand, swimming in the turquoise waters and napping under the swaying palm trees. Warm, clear waters and abundant coral make Umluj a prime location for diving and snorkelling, less crowded than other famous Red Sea diving spots. So, be sure to pack your swimming gear and sunblock too!

Saudi is more than just a place to perform Umrah and Hajj. There is a myriad of sights for you to experience! It’s time to explore the unique destinations the kingdom has to offer and what better way to extend your Umrah trip than with these must-see destinations? With BudgetAir, travel has never been easier. Remember, you’ll get a RM100 or S$50 discount on all flight bookings when you book before 30 September 2022!

This article is brought to you by BudgetAir.