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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia



7211 Al Muhandis Masaid Al Anqari, As Sulimaniyah, Riyadh 12241 3234, Saudi Arabia

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Five daily prayers, Jumu'ah prayers

  • Latest Travel News: Saudi Arabia's New Tourist Visa Program Open Doors To Leisure Travel & DIY Umrah

    More than just a country for pilgrims, Saudi Arabia has finally opened its doors to tourists. With hopes to diversify the economy away from oil, Saudi Arabia has finally opened its doors to tourists from 49 states to visit one of the world’s most unexplored destinations. During an event in Ad-Diriyah, Chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage, Ahmad Al-Khateeb, announced the launch of a new tourist visa program to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Photo by Vinta Supply Co. | NYC from Pexels Tourists from these 49 states can now obtain their own visa online, on arrival, from embassies and consulates. Travelers can now obtain one-year or multiple-entry visas that allow them to enter the country for up to 90 days. Each visa costs 440 Riyal. Image Credit: Photo by Mostafa Meraji on Unsplash Following the launch, Saudi Arabia has also announced that the country will issue fines for 19 offenses related to public decency within the kingdom. These violations include “littering, spitting, queue jumping, taking photographs and videos of people without permission and playing music at prayer times.” Female tourists will also have to be modestly dressed according to the law. Women can now wear colorful abayas that are loose-fitting.  Here are the Laws for Tourists in Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: CNBC interview with Chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage, Ahmad Al-Khateeb, on YouTube “We are opening Saudi Arabia to our guests, we want them to come and we don’t want anyone to pre-judge. We want them to come and experience Saudi Arabia and how welcoming is Saudi Arabia. We are very sure they will find a great experience an authentic experience,” said Saudi Tourism Chairperson Ahmad Al-Khateeb in an interview with CNBC International TV. Image Credit: Six Flags Qiddiya With the launch of visas, Saudi Arabia is starting plans on expanding the tourism industry in the kingdom. This includes the partnership with Qiddiya and the Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, one of the biggest regional theme park company in the world, to venture on the first and largest theme park in Saudi Arabia, located just outside Riyadh. The theme park was said to be completed by the beginning of 2023. With partnership plans with industry leaders from the hospitality and entertainment sectors, Al Qiddiya is envisioned to be “the biggest entertainment city around the world.” Check out how the theme park's iconic roller coaster ride, Falcon's Flight, will look like in 2023. Saudi Tourism Chairperson Ahmad Al-Khateeb also said that the kingdom aims to increase the percentage of gross domestic product from 3 percent to 10 percent by 2030.   Mastercard-CrescentRating Halal Travel Frontier 2019 Report leased in January already predicted that the “The Umrah and Hajj segment has been ripe for disruption for some time. 2019 will see an accelerated momentum in this direction. The disruption will happen in a number of fronts enabled by technology; disruption of the traditional Umrah operators role, training of pilgrims to perform the rites and helping in the performance of the rites itself.” Image Credit: Halal Travel Frontier 2019 Report by CrescentRating It is envisioned that Artificial Intelligence and technology will eventually disrupt the traditional Hajj and Umrah market. Today, there are already multiple tools ranging from online guides to interactive Virtual Reality (VR) that instantly replicate what it’s like to perform Hajj or Umrah. DIY (Do It Yourself) Hajj and Umrah are now getting normalized with the added value to customize your Hajj or Umrah journey. With flight and hotel bookings made readily available for travelers and the advancement of technology, traditional Hajj and Umrah tour operators will soon lose their significance among tech-savvy Muslim travelers.  Download the Halal Travel Frontier 2019 Report...

  • #MyFirstTarawih: Praying in Masjid Al-Haram

    "I had seen my share of incredibly beautiful mosques, but nothing I had ever seen previously even came close to the magnificence of Masjid Al-Haram" Remembering my first Ramadan. The first one that I was old enough to actually fast and follow all the rules with it, takes me back to a time of sweet childhood memories. I was six years old when my parents first spoke to me about me fasting during Ramadan that year. They knew I was still quite young to actually take it seriously, but they also knew that I loved a challenge and would try my hardest to stick to the fast even if it was tough. What they didn’t know was that I would end up fasting every single day of that Ramadan even though they’d only initially wanted me to get used to it by fasting a couple of days here and there or even just a couple of hours per day. I had grown up watching them and my older brother abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan, praying and supplicating more so than usual, and I somewhat knew the reasoning behind it. But what excited me more was that I could finally be like the grownups! My six year old self was so honoured and ecstatic that my parents were finally ready to allow me to participate in something they did too! That Ramadan, it was different. Not only was I going to be able to fast along with them, but I would also be experiencing the Holy Month in the sacred city, Makkah! My dad had decided that we as a family would make the journey from Dubai to Makkah by road, and spend the month of Ramadan there. After weeks of prep, we were off! While fasting, we drove for 12 hours straight to Riyadh, with a couple of our family friends; including kids my age, where we met up with my aunt and uncle and their three children. From Riyadh, we continued our journey to Makkah. Upon reaching Makkah, we checked into our hotel and while we were exhausted, none of us could actually sleep because of our excitement! We headed off to Masjid Al-Haram to perform our Umrah, and I remember just being in pure awe. Having grown up in the Middle East, even by the age of 6, I had seen my share of incredibly beautiful mosques, but nothing I had ever seen previously even came close to the magnificence of Masjid Al-Haram. There’s no point in me trying to explain how incredible the mosque is, because it truly is something that you have to see with your own two eyes to believe. After performing our Umrah, we stayed at the mosque so we could get a good spot to break our fast - while the mosque is always packed throughout the year, during Ramadan the crowd is unreal! - and this is when it hit me. My little self had managed to beat the fatigue and pushed through the long day while fasting. My little stomach was rumbling and boy was I tired, but I was still going! Maghrib Adhan was called, it was Iftar time! We broke our fasts with a date and some water, offered our prayers and then had a bite to eat. After that, we decided to stay on further for Isha prayers, and then for Tarawih. This would not just be my first Tarawih, but also my first Tarawih in this sacred city. I had heard stories, all the recollections my friends and family had, of their previous visits to the Holy Mosque during Ramadan, of not just the prayer being long, but also each Rakaat, each Rukooh and each Sujood being extra long too. I knew the prayer would be lengthy, and my mum had given me a crash course on how to perform Tarawih and the importance of Tarawih prayer in Ramadan as it was my first time, and I was mentally preparing myself. Once the prayer started, I immediately knew that everything I had heard was right - it was long! But the electric atmosphere and the Imam’s beautiful recitation blurred everything out and the time just flew by. I was simply awe-struck by the intensity, by how millions of people, from kids my age and even much younger, to aged adults in wheelchairs, were all lined up, praying their hearts out to The Creator. There was no way I was going to complain, because I knew it was such a blessing to be able to perform my first Tarawih in Masjid Al-Haram. The prayer was beautiful. I remember that when it was over, I just wanted to do it again and again, even though by then I was exhausted! I was addicted. It was a feeling that is absolutely indescribable. A feeling only those who have been there and experienced it for themselves will know. I was lucky. I had the chance to perform Tarawih, right there in that exact mosque for the rest of the month. And I never got tired of it. Yes, I got distracted multiple times throughout the prayer. I would occasionally lose concentration and ended up watching kids near me quietly play with each other while their parents prayed, or just counting the flowers on my prayer mat, or even just thinking random thoughts, and somewhere in the middle, I may have even dozed off for a few seconds! Remembering my first Tarawih isn’t that easy since it has been a long time, but it’s also not something that I will easily forget. Over the next few days my mum gave me a few more pointers, of dua that I could make, and of the supplications that I could recite just to enhance my prayer a little further and of how I could focus more instead of being distracted by what was happening around me; and even though I tried, I may have ended up zoning out into space a couple of times each night anyway. But hey, I was six! Tarawih during the last ten days of Ramadan was incredible. I never thought it could be possible for the atmosphere to be even more ramped up, but it was! I would give anything to be spending this coming Ramadan and to be offering Tarawih in Makkah! Even today, twenty one years later, I keep thinking to first Tarawih experience was in Makkah! I was so incredibly fortunate, and it truly doesn’t get more special than that! Alhamdulillah!...

  • Muslim Traveller's Guide to Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia is one of the most prominent Islamic countries in the world, that is visited by thousands of pilgrims and Muslim tourists annually. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a prosperous tourist industry that generates millions of dollars each year. If you're a Muslim who is travelling to Saudi Arabia you won't have to worry about finding Halal food near you, however, one thing that you should always keep in mind is that Saudi Arabia is very strict if you break their laws. There are certain exclusive customs and laws in Saudi Arabia that a visitor must abide by: You must wear proper clothing as directed by Saudi Arabia’s law. Do not disrespect historical Islamic figures. Do not act indecently near shrines or places of worship. You might not be allowed to film or take photos in certain places including the Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah. Do not try to take things without asking – stealing has grave consequences in Saudi Arabia. Do not insult the government or the monarchy. Littering comes with heavy fines. Women will be allowed to drive according to a royal decree. However, this change of law will be implemented in June 2018, so driving is still illegal for women. Stay away from any major political activity during your trip If you do get into trouble, be extremely patient with the law enforcers Even though the main places of interest for any Muslim tourist in Saudi Arabia are its Holy cities of Makkah and Medina, these are not the only regions that tourists visit in Saudi Arabia. Jeddah, Riyadh, Taif etc are all congregation points for foreign tourists. So if you're planning to visit Saudi Arabia, here's where you should go: Jeddah: Jeddah city is one of the main entry points for foreigners entering Saudi Arabia, and The King Abdul Aziz Airport is one of the largest, busiest airports in the Kingdom. Unlike other Saudi cities, Jeddah, is in close proximity to the Holy City of Makkah. Jeddah which lies on the coast of the Red Sea is one of the major financial centers of the country. Keeping the history aside, the modern city is worth exploring with tons of high rises wherever you look, the roads are clean and there are plenty of shopping places and malls to visit - one of the most famous shopping spots are Hyper Panda and The Andalus Mall. However, the most noteworthy and exclusive thing about Jeddah is The King Fahd's Fountain that has been built in the middle of the sea and is visible from Jeddah's coast. Although the fountain spouts water all day long, the best time to witness its grandeur is after nightfall when the fountain is illuminated. Similar fountains can be found in other cities around the world too, but what's special about The King Fahd's Fountain is that it's the largest one you'll find anywhere. Furthermore, the city is also famous for its large expat population where you don't have to be worried about being lost in a foreign country, as the city is quite multicultural and friendly. Best attractions in Jeddah Find Halal food near you in Jeddah Makkah: When taking Route 40 from Jeddah, you will arrive at the Holy city of Makkah in about an hour. Since Makkah does not have its own airport, your entry point will most probably be Jeddah or Medina. There are plenty of bus and car hire services which will take you to Makkah from Jeddah and Medina, such as the bus service known as Saptco which offers intercity transport. Makkah is filled with all kinds of hotels that ranges from very cheap to outrageously expensive. Most travelers with a high budget tend to stay at the renowned Makkah Tower hotel that is located just above the Masjid Al-Haram – from where you can get amazing views of the Mosque and the Holy Kaaba. Low cost hotels are usually located deep in the city and might be as far as 1 Kilometer away from the Mosque. There's a lot of history in and around Makkah – you might need to book a guided tour from a private company to cover all the major points in the city, since travelling independently is extremely difficult. But if you're up for a challenge, you can explore them by yourself too. Must visit locations in Makkah include the Masjid e Jinn where ghosts or Jinns are said to pray and the Hira Cave which is associated with Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) revelations. There's also the Mount Arafat which is one of the most famous places in the Islamic Prophecies and is also visited during Hajj. Visit attractions in Makkah The airport guide to Makkah Medina: Formerly known as Yathrab or Yasrab, Medina is one of the most important ancient Muslim cities in the world. Just like Makkah, Medina did not have an international airport and the only way to enter it was through other cities. However, now there is a Medina Airport that has been given international status where passengers from China, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan and other parts of the world can directly arrive at Medina instead of any other city. The main attraction of Medina is the Prophet's Mosque, which is also one of the main congregation points for Muslim pilgrims. Remember if you're touring the Prophet's Mosque to stay with close with your family, since the place is awfully crowded and there have been reports of stampedes inside. Other places worth visiting include the Quba Mosque which also holds the title of being the oldest Mosque in the world, then there's the Mount Uhad which holds great importance in the Islamic Religion. You can also find the Hejaz Railway Museum which showcases trains and other transport vehicles from the Ottoman times. Halal food is most probably the only type of food there, and as far as I know there's nothing non-Halal in Medina. You can dine in at one of the economical Bengali or Pakistani restaurants or the famous chain restaurants such as KFC, you don't have to worry about the food being anything other than Halal. Riyadh: If you want to explore the modern Saudi Arabia you should visit Riyadh which is the capital city and the most developed one too, being a major destination for expats and tourists alike. Riyadh is also one of the wealthiest cities in Saudi Arabia – there are tons of modern glitzy hotels and restaurants, and it’s quite easy to find Halal food restaurants near you. Burj Rafal, a hotel located in Riyadh is among the tallest in the world, other than the Burj Al Faisaliyah which features a ball point pen shaped skyscraper that contains a restaurant with a mesmerizing view. If you get tired of the city, head over to the Masmak Fort or Murabba Palace to explore some of this area's history. Halal food near you in Riyadh Best attractions in Riyadh Plan your next trip to Saudi Arabia for a unique experience. Find nearby Mosques and prayer places in Saudi Arabia with the HalalTrip App....

  • Top 7 Places with Rich Islamic History in Saudi Arabia

    Visiting famous places in Saudi Arabia is a great opportunity for you to learn more about the country’s interesting Islamic history. Some of the interesting things to do in Saudi Arabia includes visiting unique historical spots – and you can even admire the unique architecture from another era. These famous historic Islamic places in Saudi Arabia played a major role in shaping the Islamic history of the country, so read on to find which places you should visit.   1. Jubbat Ha'il Picture Credit - Jubbat Hai’il is located near the Jubba town in the Ha’il province and is one of Saudi Arabia’s largest archaeological sites – one of the most fascinating tourist places in Saudi Arabia Three important sites are located here, that includes one in Jebel Um Sanam mountain which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This site is especially famous for the rock inscriptions and carvings at Jebel Um Sanman and other surrounding mountains – and some of these intriguing illustrations date back to the Mesolithic Period. You can still see illustrations of camels, oryx, gazelles and more that reflect different time periods and the way of life several centuries ago.   2. Najran Picture Credit - The city of Najran borders Yemen and is located in southwest Saudi Arabia. Najran was also part of the incense route, where caravan trading in frankincense and myrrh from Yemen took place. However, Najran is also known for the Event of Mubhala which was a significant point in Saudi Arabia’s Islamic history. The city’s history can be traced back to 4,000 years when it was a fertile agricultural area, and still remains so today with fruit and vegetable farms. Najran is also famous for archaeological sites as Al-Ukhdūd and ruins that are still standing today. Do visit Najran when you travel to Saudi Arabia to see something unique to the region.   3. Mada'in Saleh (Al-Hijr) Picture Credit - Mada'in Saleh, also known as Al-Hijr is located in the Al-Ula Region in the Al-Madinah Province and was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site to be declared in Saudi Arabia.This archaeological site with ruins from another era is fascinating – the ruins of the Nabatean Kingdom that include tombs, water wells and intricate facades dates back to 1st century BC to the 1st century AD. Cave drawings and other inscriptions that pre-date this period can be seen too. According to the country’s Islamic history, the Thamud tribe settled at Al-Hijr in the 3rd Millenium BC and carved these inscriptions.   4. At-Turaif District Picture Credit - The origins of the At-Turaif district can be traced back to the 15th century when it was recognised as the first capital of Saudi Arabia. Located in the highest valley of the Old Diriyah region, At-Turaif District was created in the Najdi architecture style and was also declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. Sunni Islamic reformer, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Abdul Wahhab had a significant influence through his teachings and preaching, where At-Turaif was vital in shaping religion and politics in Saudi Arabia. Soon the Wahhabi movement started to spread became part of Saudi Arabia’s Islamic history – making this district one of the most important historic Islamic places in Saudi Arabia. Some of the ruins have been re-built and structures can still be seen today.   5. Khaybar Picture Credit - Khaybar is an oasis located north of Medina where the Battle of Khaybar took place in 628 AD between Muslims and the Jewish community who had inhabited the region up to the 7th century. Khaybar was an important stopover of the incense trading route from Yemen to Levant, and this fortress town with palm tree groves and water dams was also known for producing dates as well. Don’t forget to have a look at the ruins of ancient Khaybar fortress, that was conquered by Muslim armies thousands of years ago.   6. Jawatha Mosque Picture Credit - The Jawatha Mosque is one of the important historic Islamic places in Saudi Arabia. Originally built in 629 AD by the Bani Abd al-Qays tribe, this is one of the earliest mosques that were built in Saudi Arabia. Located in the Al-Kilabiyah village in Al Ahsa, It was built in the pre-Islamic era of Saudi Arabia and is claimed to be the first site to hold the Friday congressional prayer apart from the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. According to legend, the Hajr Al Aswad of from Mecca was stolen by the Qarmatians and was kept at Jawatha Mosque for twenty-two years.    * This mosque is believed to still be under renovation at the time of writing. If you wish to visit this site please contact the local authorities and if you have information on the matter do let us know*     7. Masmak Fort Picture Credit - Masmak Fort is one of the most famous historical places in Saudi Arabia that you should not miss. This impressive fort was originally built by Riyadh Abdulrahman ibn Sulaiman ibn Dabaan in 1865 and played an important role in the history of Saudi Arabia. Masmak Fort was taken under Turkish rule until 1902 when a prominent battle resulted in King Abdul Aziz Al Saud succeeding in reclaiming his ancestral home. The fort’s defences are strong with solid walls and towers. A mosque and well are located within the fort – while the ceilings of the interior are decorated with painted palm tree, ethel wood and taramic.   Muslim travel to Saudi Arabia can be a unique experience like no other, so don’t miss out on visiting some of the interesting tourist places in Saudi Arabia. ...

  • Presenting the World's Best Destinations for Muslim Shoppers! Muslim Travel Shopping Index 2015 Has Now Been Unveiled

    Here's an exciting look at the world's best shopping destinations for Muslim travellers in 2015! CrescentRating and MasterCard have officially released a brand new research publication – Muslim Travel Shopping Index 2015 – that offers a fascinating look at the behavioural trends and patterns of Muslim shoppers, as well as a detailed analysis of which destinations are better suited for Muslim travellers who love to shop. Numerous shopping destinations around the world were classified as OIC Destinations and non-OIC Destinations and have been ranked as follows: The top 10 OIC destinations in the MTSI 2015: Rank MTSI Rank City Country Score 1 1 Dubai United Arab Emirates 79.5 2 2 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 73.3 3 5 Istanbul Turkey 64.2 4 6 Antalya Turkey 61.2 5 7 Manama Bahrain 59.6 6 8 Doha Qatar 59.5 7 9 Riyadh Saudi Arabia 59.3 8 10 Bali Indonesia 58.2 9 11 Penang Malaysia 56.9 10 12 Sharjah United Arab Emirates 55.3   The top 10 non-OIC destinations in the MTSI 2015: Rank MTSI Rank City Country Score 1 3 Singapore Singapore 71.6 2 4 London United Kingdom 64.7 3 13 Paris France 52.7 4 14 Bangkok Thailand 51.1 5 15 New York United States 49.9 6 16 Barcelona Spain 46.6 7 17 Seoul South Korea 43.5 8 18 Phuket Thailand 41.8 9 19 Cape Town South Africa 39.4 10 20 Hong Kong Hong Kong 39.0   An absolute haven for shopping, Dubai was named the best shopping destination for Muslims in the OIC Destination category. In addition to its massive shopping malls, high-end stores and popular shopping festivals, the city also offers endless options for dining – making it the top-ranked destination in the world for Muslim shoppers. Kuala Lumpur, Istanbul, Antalya and Manama rounded off the top five ranks – each destination providing an abundance of shopping opportunities and Halal dining. Vibrant Singapore City was ranked the best shopping destination in the non-OIC Destination category. Other cities that were ranked amongst the top shopping destinations in the category included London, Paris, Bangkok and New York. Travellers are now able to use the index to make better travel decisions in the future. The index is an excellent measure of how well each shopping destination is capable of catering to Muslim travellers – making it a useful tool during travel planning. Muslim Travel Shopping Index 2015 is another joint effort by MasterCard and CrescentRating that analyses the behaviour and expenditure of Muslim travellers with regard to shopping and dining. 40 prominent international shopping destinations were monitored against a comprehensive set of metrics, creating an overall index for Muslim travel shopping. Click here for a detailed analysis of Muslim Travel Shopping Index 2015 ....

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    I found this mosque