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Hajj Fact Sheet

Pilgrimage Travel Requirements

  • Vaccination certificate for inspection by Saudi authorities at the port of entry. Current vaccination requirements are available from the website of Saudi Ministry of Health. ( http://www.moh.gov.sa/en/pages/default.aspx )
  • Identification card and wristband issued to all pilgrims by your Hajj travel agent. Keep them with you at all times.
  • Valid permit to perform Hajj. The Saudi government enforces strict penalties on people who perform Hajj without this permit.
  • Do not overstay your Hajj or Umrah visa. Penalties for overstays may include a fine of 10,000 Saudi Riyals and incarceration pending deportation proceedings.
  • If you bring medication with you, carry a doctor’s prescription
  • It is recommended to get travel insurance before travelling to Hajj.

Hire Reputable Tour Operators

  • The Hajj is an attractive target for defrauding unsuspecting tourists. Only deal with licensed and established tour operators. For a list of approved travel agencies, see the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia website and the Saudi Hajj Ministry website.
  • Pick-pocketing and other forms of theft are prevalent in Mecca, particularly in the region of the Grand Mosque, and in Medina.
  • Stay with your travel agency group at all times.

Lost Canadian passports

  • Report the loss immediately to your travel agent.
  • Obtain a report from the local police.
  • Upon completion of Hajj, the honorary consulate in Jeddah can assist in issuing replacement passports.

Women Pilgrims

  • Women below the age of 45 must be accompanied by a “mahram” (e.g. close adult, male relative such as a husband, son, father, or brother) for Hajj.
  • Women over 45 may travel without a mahram in an organized group, provided they submit a notarized letter of no objection from the husband, son, or brother, authorizing travel for Hajj with the named group.

Health

  • In addition to required vaccinations, the following vaccinations are also recommended: Hepatitis A and B and Polio. Carry hand sanitizers, cold, diarrhea, and skin irritation medication
  • Temperatures in Mecca tend to range between 18 and 42 degrees Celsius. Stay hydrated, rest, and use protection from the sun.

Zamzam water

  • Most airlines limit each traveler to one container of up to 10 liters (2.64 gallons) of Zamzam water as checked baggage

Transportation

At the Airport: Expect Crowded Airport Terminals

  • Waiting time upon arrival at the King Abdul-Aziz International Airport in Jeddah may exceed twelve hours, due to the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims.
  • Expect a lengthy wait in hot and humid conditions before leaving the airport to Mecca or Medina. Travelers with only carry-on bags will find baggage transfer at the airport much easier than will those with checked baggage.
  • Some Hajj pilgrims now fly directly to Medina and proceed to Mecca by road. There is no airport in Mecca.

Between Ritual Sites

  • The Saudi government provides strict timetables to Hajj groups for all movements (bus, light rail, and foot) between the ritual sites. Bus, light rail, and pedestrian routes are extremely congested, and travelers should expect long delays.
  • Use maps and smartphone applications (AlMaqsad App) to navigate the Hajj ritual sites that stretch from the Grand Mosque (Al Masjid al Haram) to Arafat.

Safety and Emergency Information

  • Canadians should remain vigilant at all times, avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media. We recommend, if possible, that Canadians get in touch with their emergency contacts in Canada to confirm their whereabouts and wellbeing, even if they have not been affected by this event.
  • We encourage you to register on ROCA before travelling through https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration
  • We encourage you to stay connected to the latest travel advice and advisories, and can find our emergency contact information at travel.gc.ca, also available via our mobile Travel smart application (www.travel.gc.ca/mobile)
  • You can also follow us on Twitter at www.mobile.twitter.com/travelGoC or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/travelGoC or follow us on @CanEmbSA https://twitter.com/CanEmbSA?lang=en
  • Canadian citizens requiring emergency consular assistance can contact the Embassy of Canada in Riyadh at 966 (11) 488-2288 or ryadh@international.gc.ca.
  • For emergency assistance after hours you may communicate with the Emergency Watch and Response Centre (EWRC) in Ottawa by calling the Embassy and following the instructions. You may also reach the EWRC directly by dialling (+1-613-996-8885 or by email at sos@international.gc.ca

Prohibited Goods

Please refer to the link below for all goods that you cannot bring with you
http://www.customs.gov.sa/sites/sc/en/CustomsGuideNew/SubHQweb02/Pages/Pages/LandingPage.aspx

Emergency Contact Information for Hajj Authorities:
The National Tawafa Establishment for Pilgrims of Turkey and Muslims of Europe, Americas, and Australia
966-012-920012013,
Fax: 966-012-920006620
Street Address: Mecca Al Mukarramah, Al Nuzha Road, near Alnuzha Bridge

Emergency Services
MOI Hajj hotline 911
Ambulance 997
Traffic Accidents 993

What We Can and Cannot Do

We Can

  • Issue replacement passports in case of theft or loss
  • Seek to contact you within 24 hours of being told that you have been arrested.
  • Make special arrangements in case of civil disturbances or disasters.
  • Provide contact information for local lawyers and hospitals.
  • Arrange for a spouse or next of kin to be informed if you are involved in an accident, arrested, or die, and advise them on the appropriate procedures.

We Cannot

  • Resolve immigration violations.
  • Become involved in any disagreements, e.g. pilgrim and travel agency disputes or lost baggage.
  • Rearrange airline, hotel, or other travel bookings.
  • Pay for hotel, legal, medical, travel, or other bills.
  • Obtain someone’s release from prison.
  • Provide legal advice or intervene in court cases or criminal investigations.

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Date Modified:
2017-07-27