Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia

What you should know

Hajji Umrah

Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia

The annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is one of the largest mass gatherings in the world. Millions of Muslims from around the world attend and many Australians make the pilgrimage each year. The date of Hajj changes from year to year. Umrah is a similar pilgrimage that can be undertaken at any time of the year but is likely to be more crowded during the month of Ramadan.

Your Health

Because of the crowds, gatherings such as Hajj and Umrah are associated with added health risks. If you plan to travel to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah, you should be up-to-date on your routine vaccines such as Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis, Measles/Mumps/Rubella, Polio and Influenza.

Evidence of recent quadrivalent Meningitis vaccination for Meningococcal Disease is required by the Saudi Arabian authorities for all pilgrims to Mecca. A valid certificate must not be more than 3 years old and vaccination must be no less than 10 days prior to travel to be eligible for your visa.

Other recommended vaccines may include Hepatitis A and Typhoid.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Due to the ongoing outbreak of MERS in the Arabian Peninsula, the Saudi Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation recommends that travellers above 65 years of age, those with chronic diseases, immune deficiency, pregnant women and children do not perform Hajj or Umrah at present.

To reduce your risk of infection, wash your hands often, avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes and avoid close contact with sick people.

Follow the recommended food and water guidelines as stated on our website to prevent getting travellers diarrhoea.

Male pilgrims should go to officially designated centres to be shaved, where barbers are licensed and use disposable, single-use blades. Unclean blades can transmit disease.

All Hajj travel bookings must be made through a Saudi Government approved travel agent who will organise your accommodation, transport and visa.

For more information see The Ministry of Hajj website.

Reference : Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Yellow Book 2020: Health Information for International Travel. New York: Oxford University Press; 2017.

*For more detailed information, make an appointment at our travel health clinic and our travel health professionals will be more than happy to discuss your personal needs.