Pilgrimage to Mecca performed by Muslims at any time of the year is known as Umrah. It further means to perform Tawaf of Kaabah and Sa’i between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah. The pilgrimage is performed after assuming Ihram either from a Miqat or a place in Hill. It is further termed as “minor pilgrimage”, the hajj being the “major pilgrimage”. If looking for a 3 days Umrah package, it needs a lot of things to be considered so that you don’t end up with empty hands.
Pilgrimage Travel Requirements: Prospective pilgrims can find information about the rituals and requirements of Umrah by conducting thorough research. The Saudi identification card, Valid permit to perform Hajj and a vaccination certificate prepared for inspection is a must for pilgrims planning umrah. The most important point to consider here is that the Umrah travel plans must be made through an approved travel agent of the Saudi government.
Visa Information: Saudi Arabia uses the Hijri calendar for all official functions. You should not overstay on your Umrah visa as it could lead to detention pending deportation proceedings, fines amounting to thousands of dollars, and bans on returning to Saudi Arabia in the future. Umrah visas are typically valid for about two weeks and are valid for travel only in the vicinity of Mecca, Jeddah, and Medina. Pilgrim planning umrah must depart before the visa expires.
Hiring Reputable Tour Operators: Deal with licensed and established tour operators so that you don’t fall in the hands of unscrupulous tour operators who abandon pilgrims, leaving them with unpaid bills, and hotels demanding the payment of exorbitant “hidden charges” for the return of passports.
Health: Ask your tour operator about the vaccinations required for your visa so that you have them done well on time. Hepatitis A and B and polio vaccinations are generally recommended, make sure your routine immunizations are up to date.
Female Pilgrims: According to Saudi visa rules, women below the age of 45 must be accompanied by a “mahram”. If you are planning to travel alone arrange for the one otherwise you may experience significant delays and/or be denied entry. Women over 45 may travel within a tour group can travel with a mahram provided they have a letter of no objection.
Photographs: Photography is forbidden at the Holy Mosque at Mecca or the Prophet’s mosque at Madina. Don’t indulge in this activity otherwise, it could lead to the confiscation of your device by the Saudia authorities.
Transportation at the Airport and Between Ritual Sites: Travellers with the carry-on bags experience less waiting time at the airport than those with checked baggage. Travelers should prepare for long delays because the Saudi government provides strict timetables to Hajj groups for all travel.
Transport of Agricultural Items and Zamzam Water: Most airlines limit each traveler to one container of up to 10 liters of Zamzam water as checked baggage. You should check your travel agent and airline for further details and guidance.
Apart from this you further need to look up for the visa requirements so that you have everything by your side before applying for the Umrah visa. FJ Travels and Tours can help you with the best packages and details for a safe and memorable pilgrimage.