Transport in Makkah
Makkah city is famous for its religious background and importance plus attending huge amount of tourists/pilgrims from all around the world specifically during Hajj season and in Ramadan. The Holly city Makkah does not have an airport, so people coming to visit this city have to land at the King Abdul Aziz Airport, Jeddah and either take a taxi or use the bus service to reach Makkah.
During the hajj season in the month of Zilhajj in Islamic calendar Jeddah witness transportation nightmares however improvements are being made in order to make the system of transport in Makkah more efficient. There are various means of transport in Makkah including small taxis, public buses and now introducing the new railway transport network. Most favourite mean of travelling around Makkah is through the buses and small taxis. Mostly tourists prefer taxi or a rented car because of the plight of heavy traffic on Makkah’s roads Moreover, a super Rail service is also available for tourists through which they can enjoy undisturbed travelling across Makkah in Hajj season.
Now, let us shift our attention to a particular situation helping those who are going at the sacred city for the first time to perform their Hajj or Umrah , or are interested to make their next Hajj/Umrah better regarding to the transportation provided there. First about your arrival at Jeddah Airport, you will have to pass through some formalities regarding your passport checking or luggage etc. After all this you will be moved to the waiting area until you have been asked to board out in air conditioned buses. During Hajj season, and normally in Umrah as well your tour operator will have transportation sorted out and a designated bus will pick you from the airport and drive to your “Maktab” in Makkah, making one stop at the registration centre where refreshments courtesy of the Saudi Government will be given (small lunch boxes with biscuits, juices and Zam Zam water). Before reaching the boundry of Makkah you will come to see the highway sign pointing out “Makkah-Muslims Only”. From this point on no non-Muslim is allowed to proceed .When you reach Mecca you will be shifted to a building reserved for such a purpose along-with your luggage etc. Accommodation here is mostly shared and usually at walking distance from Masjid-ul-Haram.
If you would like to catch a Shared Taxi or bus to go to Majid-E-Ayesha (To again make a neyyat and wear you Ahram for Umrah),from Makkah to Jeddah (city and airport) ,Madinah, Mina or Arafat you should come to the Taxi stand just 50 meters from Haram’s Bab-ul-Fahad. Mina is about five kilometres away from Makkaha and Arafat is about 14 kilometres from Mecca and easy transport is provided to serve pilgrims reaching there. The Saudi Government has also launched a railway network to provide easy transportation services to the Pilgrims. The rail takes about 7 minutes to reach Arafat from Makkah.
The Saudi Government is trying its best to improve the Transport network in Makkah , to provide as much facilities to the guests of Allah(pilgrims).The transport in Makkah is cheap and luxurious. The taxi and van services are quite economical and the rates of such a deluxe can be bargained.Although the transport in Makkah is very good but it is advised to Pilgrims especially those going for Hajj to walk to Mina and Arafat by feet, as every other means of transport will cost you a lot of money and you will still be stuck in traffic for hours as more than 30 lak people have to travel on the same road by that day. If you have a good health then we highly recommend you to use your feet in the 4 main days of Hajj.