News story

Travel and health advice for Hajj pilgrims

FCO issues advice for British pilgrims attending the Hajj.

Hajj pilgrimage

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 before departing.

To help inform pilgrims of the travel preparations they can make and the support the FCO can provide, our consular team in Saudi Arabia will be holding a Q&A session on Twitter at 12.00 to 13.00 UK time on 3 September.

Travellers can get involved by following @UKinSaudiArabia and sending questions using #HajiUK.

Mohammed Shokat, HM Consul-General in Jeddah, said:

Every year thousands of British Muslims undertake the Hajj pilgrimage. Most complete this spiritual journey without experiencing any difficulties or disruption, but as with all overseas travel we recommend taking sensible precautions and planning thoroughly before departing.

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 00 966 501 00 4268.

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
  • Travel with a reputable tour operator – book your tickets through an ATOL registered tour operator to avoid unnecessary difficulties; for more information visit ATOL. Have contact details for your tour operator in the UK and their representatives in Makkah
  • Get comprehensive 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 Travel Health Pro. 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 in the FCO travel advice for Saudi Arabia
  • 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: 00 966 501 00 4268

We have also produced a new Hajj travel leaflet (PDF, 632KB, 1 page) which you can download and keep.

More information

You can keep up-to-date with the latest FCO travel advice by signing up to the FCO’s Facebook and Twitter.

For further information please contact the ‘Know Before You Go’ team on 020 7781 2342 or

Published 1 September 2015