In Makkah you will find many salesman(and saleswomen)that sell many item,,this one was selling a local tree branch that is used to clean the teeth(it`s called Miswak)The tree is called Arak in arabic.
Miswak or Siwak is Made from the twigs of the Salvadora persica tree.
We (Muslims)follow the Prophet Mohammad(peace be upon him)by using this to keep our teeth healthy and clean,one small branch costs one Riyal(USD=3.75 Riyals).
You may use it even when you are fasting during the day of Ramadan....it gives your mouth a very fresh smell.
The WHO(World Health oranization) recommended the use of the miswaak in 1986.
Recent studies discovered great positive effect on immunity system.
What to buy: When you want to buy a Miswak,,make sure to pick a soft one,,this means it`s freshly cut.
Also make sure that it has a strong nice smell.
Most pilgrims pass this street on their way to the grand mosque.
you can buy al most everything you need,from prayer carpets to sandwiches and juices.
This picture was taken on a Ramadan night right after night prayers.(sorry it`s a bit blurry it was taken by my mobile cam)
What to pay: cheap,,really cheap stuff,all made either in china or india.
The Bin Dawood shopping complex is 1 minutes walk from the main gate of the Harem.
Its housed in the Hilton hotel ground and 1st flooors.
What can you get there? EVERYTHING!
Everything from dates, sports wear, expensive swiss watches, KFC, Rugs and the list goes on.
This really is the only place you need to know, it houses a dozen eateries and tons of different speciality shops.
Theres even an auction house here!
(but dont waste too much time in shops - my advise is to make a list of people you need to get gifts for before you leave your home country and write down what you might get them - be objective and dont waste time because its easy to get distracted once you are in these large complex shopping centres.)
What to buy: Dates
The Bin Dawood has at least 2 ATM's
Corn in a Cup
Bin Dawood Superstore
Step by Step - Designer wear
What to pay: Even here - haggle!
Prices are inflated , but remember find a decent shop and try to buy more in one shop so you can really haggle.
There is an abundance of market traders in Makkah. They are everywhere!
Remember you must bargain with all traders whether in large stores or small stalls. They usually add about 20% to 35% on to their prices.
If you look or act European or American dont be surprised if you start haggling from 200 Riyals when in fact the product is locally sold for 50-100 Riyals!
What to buy: The best things to buy from market traders, especailly near the Harem, are
1) Miswak - Very fresh and bendy.
2) Roseary Beads
3) Prayer Hats
6) Woven prayer Mats
7) Flip Flops
What to pay: Items that are around 7 Riyals - bargain down to 5 or 6. Items that are 50 Riyals bargain down to 40!
If you spend enough time you will usually get to see locals paying the correct price so use that as a base line.
Many retail shops sells small souvenir for you to take,toys,perfumes,praying carpets,bags......ect.
Most of the shops are located within few steps outside the Holy Mosque.
What to pay: Cheap prices.most of them are "buy any item for 1$).or can be 2$
Mecca has a lot of markets to go shopping in. One of the most popular things for foreigners to shop for in Saudi Arabia is gold. Apparently it is pretty cheap in Saudi Arabia when compared to other nations. You can find shops selling anything all over the city of Mecca. Especially in the area next to the Masjid. The Hilton hotel has a lot in it. As well as an older market on the outside of the masjid on the east side.
There is many stores full in many kinds of goods and clothes so you can take what you want
What to pay: if you need to buy many things it,s better to buy them from Jeddeh because it,s more cheap than Mecca
Here is another picture of some shops that sell prayer carpets,veils,perfumes and there is a very useful compas that locates the Ka`aba from any place in the world.
What to pay: cheap prices.