Every year, millions of Muslims from across the globe travel to Mecca to perform a religious pilgrimage called Umrah. Umrah is one of the two pilgrimages performed in Islam, it is intrinsic to the core practices of the religion and offers Muslims the chance to refresh and truly connect with their faith. Some Muslims may choose to perform Umrah in combination with Hajj, the second and major religious pilgrimage in Islam, while others choose to perform it separately.
Whether one is performing Umrah and Hajj together or Umrah on its own, it is no surprise that this journey comes at a hefty cost. From the price of a visa to purchasing the correct clothing, there are a multitude of expenses involved. Travel companies have created convenient packages with both cost-effective and luxury options, so as to make planning this trip a little more convenient. However, these packages cannot account for extra costs that you may incur when planning and undergoing Umrah, they are usually designed as group packages and at times it can be difficult to understand where your money is going.
Nonetheless, do not let that overwhelm you; managing the expense of this trip can be efficient and cost-effective. Let us break down the estimated financial cost for Umrah below:
(DISCLAIMER: This selection has been made on the assumption that the participating individual is an adult going on Umrah for the first time as a non-Saudi pilgrim from the UK, for 6 days / 5 nights)
Travel and accommodation expenses:
|Saudi EVisa||Approx £125, including processing fees||This is the official cost for the 2021 season. The new Evisa is a tourist visa that allows you to perform Umrah outside of Hajj season. |
|Return flights from the U.K to Jeddah||Economy: Approx £500||These prices have been taken from a competitive travel provider with bookings requested over a month in advance|
|Hotel booking||A 4-star hotel in Mecca: £300-£400 For 5 nights||This has been taken from two competitive travel providers, the cost of a hotel can depend on their amenities and proximity to Masjad al Haram|
|Transportation from Jeddah to Mecca||Taxi: 200-300 SAR (£38-£58) Bus: £3-£6|
|Transportation from Mecca to Jeddah||Taxi: 200-300 SAR (£38-£58) Bus: £3-£6|
|PCR test for travel to Saudi||Approx £85||A standard PCR test from a high-street retailer|
APPROXIMATE TOTAL COST FOR TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION EXPENSES: Min: £1,061
|Male/female clothing Sandals||Approx £20 per piece Approx £20||The cost of what you would wear when in Ihram and performing Umrah|
|Food||Approx £15-£20 a day For 6 days= £90-£120||The cost of food will be dependent on where you choose to eat; this price range is based on cheaper, convenience food options|
|Additional money for shopping or other …||£50- £100|
APPROXIMATE TOTAL COST OF PERSONAL EXPENSES: Min: £180 Max: £260
Let us round the minimum cost to the nearest hundred (£1,300) to account for any extra travel or personal expenses, this is the value we will be working with below.
How to start saving?
Now we can think about how you can effectively save for Umrah within a year. The total cost is £1,300, which means that you need to save £3.60 per day or a little over £108 a month.
Another way we can quantify this is in cups of coffee, with the average cost of a regular-sized cappuccino in London being £2.30- according to a 2019 study. If you drink a cappuccino every weekday for a month it costs you approximately £48, and for a year: £603. That means it would cost about 47 cups of coffee per month to hit your Umrah savings target for that month. If you swapped your daily cappuccino for an at-home cappuccino, it would cost you less than £4.50, saving you approximately £44 every month or £528 a year. That is roughly 41% of your monthly/yearly savings target for Umrah, and all you need to do is to switch to drinking coffee at home.
One can also think of this in terms of Pret lunches, with the average cost of a Pret lunch (sandwich and crisps) being £4.55 according to a 2013 Pret study. This means that if you purchase a Pret Lunch (or food equivalent in cost), every weekday for a year, you would have spent £1,192. That accounts for over 90% of your Umrah savings. Even if you purchase a £3 meal deal every weekday you still spend £786 on lunches a year, which accounts for approximately 60% of your Umrah savings.
Changes to the food and drink you purchase will contribute significantly – but cutting down on major expenses such as retail purchases, Deliveroo and Uber, can bring you closer to your monthly savings goal. The Rizq 2.0 app, which is to be rolled out soon, has a variety of features that can support you. Put spare change into ‘savings pots’ to set money aside for Umrah (or any other goal); or use Rizq’s marketplace, and save money by receiving amazing deals on a selection of Islamic, ethical, and also mainstream brands. By making small changes to your lifestyle and joining the #RizqRevolution, you will be sure to save for Umrah next year – and really take control of your finances.