Shifting vs. Non Shifting – what’s it all about?
This is the time where many people start looking around for that ideal Hajj package. The terms “shifting” and “non-Shifting” are thrown around with some negativity, especially towards the “shifting”. I have to admit, I don’t know where these terms came from, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a similar method was used (to come up with these terms) as the one for the term “Brexit”.
“Shifting” is referred to staying in an area before Hajj, away from the Haram, usually in Aziziyah, Shisha or Rusaifah. The move to the Hotel near the haram is known as ‘The shift’. Companies have been using the apartments/hotels in Azizyah, Shisha, and Rusaifah for way over a decade now. We agree it can cause inconvenience to some pilgrims, which leaves you asking yourself, ”Why do Hajj operators continue to use apartments/hotels in Aziziyah, Shisha or Rusaifah?”
Benefits of a shifting package (Aziziyah, Shisha or Rusaifah)
We understand that staying in a 5-star hotel, in close proximity to the Haram during Hajj is ideal. As ideal as it may seem it does come with some costs.
- Reduced Cost
Using Aziziyah as part of the Hajj package has allowed operators to drastically lower the cost of Hajj and thus making it more affordable and accessible for pilgrims. Hotels close to the Haramain increase their prices substantially during Hajj days, making it very difficult for many to afford. Furthermore, keep in mind you’ll be paying all that money, but you will be away from your hotel for a minimum of 5 days (during Hajj rites).
With the facilities offered in Mina being very basic, it is very common that the pilgrims will come back to their place of lodging to freshen up or even get a bit of rest. The huge amount of people and traffic will make it so difficult to get back to your hotel near the Haram (during Hajj rites) should you need to go back for any reason. With our apartment bordering Mina (around a 20min walk), you can easily go back to the apartment, in case of an emergency or if you need something from your luggage – an extra set of ihram perhaps.
- Educational programme
Seminars and lectures are prohibited in hotels, which prevents us as a tour operator preparing you for Hajj (spiritually). One of the reasons for having experienced tour guides and spiritual guides is so you get the best Hajj experience possible. Additionally, Hajj is an act of worship which is known to unite people and the hearts of Muslims – performing the acts of worship together. Aziziyah makes the building of brotherhood/sisterhood easy, before heading out to Mina – this makes your Mina stay not only more comfortable but also more spiritually benefiting.
Access to the Haram
Access to the Haram (from Aziziyah) is not as difficult as others make it out to be, not with our apartments anyway. Our apartments are located just off the main road within close proximity to famous landmarks.
Although each individual has their own needs and wants, we’d definitely advise giving the “shifting” packages a second look before making your decision. Granted perhaps not every Tour Guide is as open as others, but with a bit of due diligence, you will definitely get a feel for the more honest ones.
Hajj with Quba Travel
We (Quba Travel) have three Hajj packages for 2019 which gives Hujjaj the choice of what they want to do. Our 14-day Express package includes a 5-star hotel in Madinah and a stay in Aziziyah – I guess this makes it a “shifting” package, but in all seriousness, we value our Hujjaj and are very open about our packages. We do not have a situation where we move from one hotel to another and another – this is your Hajj and a lifetime journey.
Our Classic 19-day package includes two 5 star hotels in both Makkah and Madinah and during the Hajj rites, to make it easy for the Hujjaj, we have a 3/4 day stay in Aziziyah. One thing that can be said about the apartments is that they are of a great standard. Check out all of our Hajj 2019 packages available below and get in touch with any questions.