Pre-Umrah Preparation

Sharing the travel log of our journey to Makkah and Madinah for Umrah in April 2019. 

These are my views, understanding and thoughts. 

Pre-Umrah Preparation:

Travel Agent:
Searched the internet to find the right Travel Agency to help us go for Umrah. One of the thoughts was to do everything on our own; however, since this was our first trip, wanted to have a package tour so that we can be guided during the journey.  

After reaching out to various agencies and following up with 3; apparently being a high travel season and my late planning wasn't getting much response. Finally Jafar from Al Mukthar Travel (after initially saying no) said i need to visit him to check availability. Reached him late in the evening. Being the first time, wanted to book a hotel as close as possible to Haram. Agreed on the overall package and type without the specifics of hotel name and airline. Seemed to good at what they are doing.

Prior to being able to apply for Visa, one needs to get their Meningitis vaccination. Heard that vaccination were short in supply in government hospitals (where it is free) so went for a more expensive option going to a private clinic to have it done. This was done on 1st April

Visited VFS Tasheel in Wafi Mall on 27th March for getting our fingerprinting done. Appointment had been set a day before by Al Mukhtar Travels' agent. Confusion occurred when the security guard mentioned appointment bar code on mobile phone won't do, need to have a print out. Sent us to a nearby shop, where there was no staff; subsequently he called us back stating that it's okay with the mobile. 

It took about 1.5 hours for the end to end process to complete. However, on 2nd April had to visit Abu Dhabi since my elder daughter's fingerprinting was not done properly. Was a pain, since upon going there the agent mentioned that you were supposed to get it done from Dubai from the same centre. After a few phone calls and confusion, eventually got it done from the Abu Dhabi centre. 

Next day (3rd April), got the call from Al Mukhtar Travels that visa had been done and i could come and collect the ticket, passports, visa and hotel reservation.


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