Press release

Foreign Office team to support British Pilgrims

Foreign Office establishes a dedicated team to support British Hajjis traveling to Saudi Arabia.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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A team of staff from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been established to accompany British pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, Minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood MP, announced today.

This will be the 16th time that the UK has provided a dedicated team to support to British Hajjis.

Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office understands how deeply important the Hajj is to the British Muslim community, and we will once again be providing a team ready to provide assistance. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provides excellent facilities and services to all pilgrims, and I would like to thank them for everything it does for British pilgrims on Hajj.

We are committed to providing appropriate consular services to British pilgrims during Hajj, through having dedicated support staff on the ground in Makkah and Jeddah. Last year we provided a range of support, including replacing lost travel documentation.

Effective preparation by pilgrims, such as ensuring they have appropriate travel insurance, and carrying copies of their passports and other important documentation, is key to ensuring a safe and trouble-free Hajj. I hope that all those undertaking Hajj this year will have a peaceful, successful and rewarding pilgrimage.

The FCO website has specific health and travel advice and general travel advice for Saudi Arabia for Pilgrims performing Hajj.

Further information

British Hajj Consular Delegation 2014

This year’s Hajj is expected to take place from 2 – 7 October. Approximately 18,000 British Muslims are expected to participate. A British Hajj Delegation has been based in Makkah every year since 1999.

Our focus remains providing appropriate support to those in need. Last year the consular delegation provided a range of support to British pilgrims. This included:

  • Support to hospitalised pilgrims.
  • Making the necessary logistical and bureaucratic arrangements for bereaved families in the event of a death.
  • Giving advice on how to file complaints to British pilgrims who were the victims of unscrupulous tour operators and assisted in referring these cases to the Ministry of Hajj.

The FCO will provide 24 hr telephone support for British pilgrims (Saudi number: 00966 501 004 268).

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Published 24 September 2014