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vacations during Ramadam & haj / books

 
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baby steps



Joined: 14 Mar 2004
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 6:17 pm    Post subject: vacations during Ramadam & haj / books Reply with quote

how difficult is it to leave KSA during Ramadam & Haj?

how expensive is it to fly to destinations in europe from jedda during these periods?

how difficult is it to get english language books to read for pleasure? i am considering using most of my shipping allowance on books and video tapes, but i don't know if it's worth it. i figure most other stuff i can keep in storage, and but what i need there.

thanks in advance for your thoughtful replies.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12719
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear babysteps,


Quote:
how difficult is it to leave KSA during Ramadam & Haj?


For Ramadan, make your reservations EARLY - lots of people, including the locals - like to leave the country then.
For Hajj, it's a different story, I'd say. Lots of pilgrims arriving from various countries so you can sometimes get good deals - depending on where you want to go. Some of the airlines flying in those pilgrims from Islamic lands will give "discounted rates" rather than fly back with empty seats.
As for the expense, all I can advise is - shop around (and, if you can, get a good, trustworthy travel agent - mine, in Riyadh, was GREAT).
Regarding books, the situation has changed greatly from when I first arrived (in 1980). Nowadays Jarir and other bookstores have pretty darn good selections that are updated with fair regularity. If you're coming from the States, you can also go to your local post office, ask for an "M" bag (which is basically a duffel/seabag) load it up with books (I used to scour the second-hand book shops; you can get about 80+ paperbacks in one) and have it shipped (literally - it'll take about 4 months or so to arrive) to you (presuming you have an address there). But I'd advise against bringing in any video tapes; they're always a hassle. Almost all the time you have to leave them at the airport (to be "reviewed") and then, if you're lucky, you have to keep calling until someone tells you you can pick them up. Believe me - it's not worth all the bother.
Hope this helps some.
Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12304
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 4:03 am    Post subject: flights Reply with quote

Ramadan in my experience can be busy. Book a flight in advance. During Hajj or Pilgrimage there are lots of cheap deals because planes that bring pilgims in are leaving empty. Typically at that time you will get cheap deals through travel agents and from airlines direct.

Finding a good travel agent is difficult but worthwhile.

I use Turkish Airlines who provide good value for money. Flights to istanbul connect with flights further afield in Europe. Tickets for round trip to most destinations in Europe are about 2,000 SR. Istanbul is also a good place for stopovers. Flying from Bahrain I sometimes use Gulfair. Cypus Airways is another option for reasonably-priced tickets to Europe via Larnaca.

Saudi Arabian Airlines offer good deals sometimes. Flying with them you have the advantage that you will not spend your flight watching a bunch of boors getting drunk.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12304
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 11:07 am    Post subject: The Nightingale Speaks ! Reply with quote

RAMADAM ? Sounds blasphemous. The blessed month of the fast is Ramadan !
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16063
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, wouldn't it be even more accurate to write 'Ramadhan'?

After all it is not equivalent to the English 'd' at all. It is the same letter as in Abu Dhabi, where in English we always use the 'dh.' Smile

VS
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