With thousands of British Muslims expected to attend this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is urging those travelling to Saudi Arabia to be fully prepared and follow up-to-date travel advice.
To help plan their visit, the FCO have produced a travel advice for Saudi Arabia, and sign up to travel advice alerts for the latest updates when in country.
for pilgrims which includes useful tips and advice, and information on how the FCO can assist if things go wrong. Travellers should also read the FCO
For those with further questions, the FCO team in Saudi Arabia will be holding a Q&A session on Twitter at 15.00 to 16.00 UK time on Wed 31 August. Follow @UKinSaudiArabia
Barrie Peach, HM Consul-General in Jeddah, said:
We welcome all British nationals performing Hajj .
Many thousands of British Muslims complete this annual pilgrimage every year. Whilst the vast majority of pilgrims do not experience any difficulties, we recommend that all pilgrims take sensible precautions, and plan ahead before departing to ensure a safe and trouble free Hajj.
We advise all British pilgrims to check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel advice and the requirements set out by the Saudi government.
We will once again be providing consular assistance and advice as necessary to British pilgrims. Consular staff can be contacted on a 24-hour helpline in the case of emergencies on +966 5010 04268.
We wish you a fulfilling and peaceful Hajj
In addition to the requirements from the Saudi government, the FCO recommends that all pilgrims use the following checklist to help plan their trip:
- Keep up-to-date with the FCO travel advice for Saudi Arabia
Public Health England (PHE) and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) have published updated health information and advice for those travelling for the Hajj. All pilgrims are advised to familiarise themselves with this advice
- Travel with a reputable tour operator – book your tickets through an ATOL registered tour operator to avoid unnecessary difficulties. Visit ATOL’s website for more information. Have contact details for your tour operator in the UK and their representatives in Makkah
- Get appropriate travel insurance and ensure it covers all aspects of your journey
- Check the health requirements and take precautionary steps as necessary, such as vaccinations; for further information visit National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC). If you require medication check that you have adequate quantities
- Check your passport and visas are valid – do you need a visa, or to renew an existing one?
- Take copies of your passport and travel documents. Take a copy of your passport with you and store it online using a secure storage site, and leave copies with family and friends, along with your itinerary and contact details
- Research the local laws and customs – more information can be found on the FCO’s travel advice
- Pack suitable footwear as you may have to walk long distances, and make sure you have all the necessary clothing and items as advised by your Hajj tour operator
- Consular staff can be contacted on a 24-hour helpline in the case of emergencies during the Hajj, on: +966 5010 04268