(MENAFN - Arab News) Umrah travel operators in the capital have drastically reduced the weekend pilgrim package to SR100 down from its original price of SR220 during the holy month of Ramadan.
The peak season for the pilgrimage ended with the Eid holidays on July 28. This year the peak season coincided with the summer holidays. A large number of vacationers could be seen with their families in Makkah and Madinah during the break.
A return fare from Riyadh to Makkah by a luxury coach including accommodation in the holy city will cost SR100 per pilgrim.
Accommodation can be upgraded to four-star hotels in the holy city upon an additional payment of SR50 per pilgrim.
One travel operator said the weekend package to Makkah and Madinah starts at 4 p.m. from Riyadh on Thursday and ends on Saturday at midnight.
Each family is given a large room at a three-sta hotel while bachelors share four to a room. Children under 12 cost only half the fare.
There are nearly 275 Umrah travel operators spread in the capital that are largely concentrated within the Batha city center.
During the journey coaches stop over at three points for the Maghreb prayer Isha prayer and dinner and at the 'meeqat' in Taif for allowing the pilgrims to don their ihram (attire for performing pilgrimage) to be able to perform morning prayers at Makkah.
Local hotels in Madinah in liaison with the local tour operators have arranged city tours to historical sites for visitors to the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah. Places of interest include Quba Mosque the first mosque built by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in Madinah and the Qiblatain Mosque where the direction of prayer was shifted from Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalam toward the House of God in Makkah.