El-Sawy : Hajj Arrangements
"Pilgrimage to the Ka’ba is a duty owed to Allah by all people who are able to undertake it"
The Holy Qur’an Surah 3 v.97
"Proclaim thou unto all people the (duty of) pilgrimage: they will come unto thee on foot and on every (kind of) fast mount, coming from every far-away place (on earth)"
The Holy Qur’an Surah 22 v.27
EL-Sawy Travel Ltd will arrange a pre-Hajj briefing with a panel of scholars at the Islamic Cultural Centre, to help you to obtain the most from your visit and to answer any queries. A reputable scholar recommended by the Islamic Cultural Centre will accompany the group to Saudi Arabia on a voluntary basis, to serve as a religious guide during the Hajj.
The issuance of visas is the prerogative of the Saudi Embassy. While El-Sawy Travel Ltd will endeavour to obtain a Hajj/Umrah visa from the Saudi Embassy on behalf of each group member, it cannot accept responsibility for any visa application turned down by the Embassy on whatever grounds.
Please refer to the separate itinerary information sheet distributed by El-Sawy Travel for precise travel details concerning the full hajj and hajj express packages. The sheet gives the dates of travel, flight departure and arrival times, and flight numbers.
Important Note: in exceptional circumstances, EL-SAWY TRAVEL LTD reserves the right to modify travel arrangements, should the need arise.
All members of the hajj group are required to assemble at the Saudi check-in desk at Heathrow Terminal 3 on the date of departure, five hours before take-off time. The early arrival at the airport is necessary to allow sufficient time to meet up with the rest of the group, check in and complete security clearance. Due to the large number of pilgrims making the journey to Saudi Arabia and the numerous friends and relatives seeing them off, you should expect the airport to be very crowded.
Upon arriving in Jeddah, one should expect to wait for up to twelve hours at the airport before proceeding to Makkah. This is due to the large number and frequency of flights arriving, resulting in delays in respect of baggage collection and customs clearance.
ACCOMMODATION IN MAKKAH
Shared accommodation is provided at EI-Sawy’s own air-conditioned flats in Alsaigh Building. Separate flats are provided for the ladies. Mattresses are supplied on which to sleep; beds are only available for medical reasons. Address:
Umm Al-Qura Street,
above the Saudi-Cairo Bank, Nearby Al-Atargi Mosque, Makkah.
Telephone (incoming calls only): 00 9662 5375731
ACCOMODATION IN MINA AND ARAFAT
Accommodation is provided in tents. In Mina, the tents are supplied with cold water, fans and electricity, whereas at Arafat only cold water is supplied.
ACCOMODATION IN MADINAH
Shared accommodation is provided at El-Sawy’s own air-conditioned flats. Address / Location:
Waqf Abdulrahman Zafer Building
Above the National Commercial Bank,
Al-Malik Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz (formerly Al-Matar) Street,
Next to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency.
Opposite the Tower Petrol Station
All the above facilities are self-catering. Each member of the group is expected to help to maintain the cleanliness of the accommodation as no cleaning services are provided.
Accommodation can be arranged in Makkah at the five star Ajyad Makkah Hotel or the Hilton Hotel and in Madinah at the five star Medina Oberoi Hotel. Double bedrooms are available for husbands and wives, and single members of the group will share a room with others.
With the exception of guests staying in hotel accommodation, everyone is responsible for his or her own food and drink. Due to customs restrictions on food imports, one is strongly discouraged from taking any food with you into Saudi Arabia. One may obtain all food items there cheaply and in abundance.
One should travel very light, taking only the minimal amount of essential items, such as ihram clothes, underwear, slippers, toiletries, a towel, umbrella, etc. Cameras or camcorders may be taken to Saudi Arabia, but it is forbidden to use them inside the mosques, airports or any public places. Everybody is responsible for taking care of his or her own personal belongings, including documentation, money etc.
It is recommended that each person should take with them a minimum of 500.00 pounds to cover personal expenses, e.g. food and drink, private transport costs, gifts etc.
All passports will be kept with the Hajj authority which is responsible for the group during its stay in Saudi Arabia. In London, El-Sawy Travel Ltd will issue each member of the group with their own identification card. This should be carried by the individual at all times while in Saudi.
The level of medical care provided in Saudi Arabia is excellent. However, those who are taking regular, prescribed medication should ensure that they have an adequate supply for the duration of the trip. Usually some doctors form a part of our hajj group, and they will kindly offer their medical services voluntarily, should the need arise. Individuals will be required to cover any private medical expenses they may incur.
The hajj is physically demanding and requires a lot of walking. Intending pilgrims are advised to prepare themselves physically beforehand to avoid undue hardship, as they should expect to walk from twenty to forty-five minutes each day.
Travel from Jeddah airport to Makkah, from Makkah to Madinah, and from Madinah to Jeddah on the date of departure will be by air-conditioned coach. El-Sawy Travel reserves the right to allocate the seating arrangements on the coaches as it sees fit.
The flats in Makkah are about one and a quarter miles from the haram al-sharif. It is possible to travel there by bus or taxi. The cost of public transport is very reasonable.
Transportation will be provided from Makkah to Mina, where the group will spend three days. EI-Sawy Travel will provide transport back to Makkah on the last day. Individuals wishing to visit Makkah to perform the tawaf al-ifadah during this three day period may do so, on condition that they make their own travel arrangements and ensure that they return to Mina before sunset, to meet the requirements of the hajj.
Telephones are available in Makkah, Mina and Arafat for incoming calls only. Although the government has provided many public pay phones on all the major routes, our advice would be to avoid making telephone calls until after the Hajj as the public telephones tend to be in great demand.
Individuals should make their own insurance arrangements, should they so wish. El-Sawy Travel Ltd., in accordance with Islamic principles, cannot provide guarantees against illness, delays or cancellation.
Once a confirmed booking has been arranged, no refund may be made for any part of the cost of the trip.
Finally, we would like to remind you that the hajj group should act as one family, in a spirit of mutual co-operation. We should assist each other in all matters, including the transportation of luggage as no porter service is available.