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Hajj and Umrah travel safety - Saudi Arabia

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General travel information

Hire reputable tour operators

The Hajj is an attractive target for defrauding unsuspecting tourists, do your homework before selecting a tour operator. Only deal with licensed travel agencies by your local government and authorized by the Saudi Embassy in Ottawa, see the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia website and the lists on Nusuk, a website of Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

Check exactly what you are paying for and it is a good idea to ask your tour details to be put in writing.

Canadian passports

Keep travel documents (your Canadian passport or Canadian citizenship card) secure during your trip. Make two copies of your passport including pages stamped with Saudi visas with one set at home and the other in a safe place while you travel.

Report the loss immediately to your tour operator representative and try to obtain a report from the local police.

Upon completion of Hajj, you may contact the Canadian Embassy represented by the honorary consulate in Jeddah to assist in issuing replacement passport.

Women and children pilgrims

Women of all ages may travel without mahram (blood relative) to perform Hajj or Umrah. A notarized letter of no objection from the husband, son or brother is no longer required.

Minors (less than 18 years of age) will be granted a Hajj visa only if accompanied by the family.  In case the child travelling with one parent, a letter of no objection should be submitted by the other parent/legal guardian and notarized by a notary public.

Pilgrims with disabilities

Be prepared for standards of accessibility and accommodation below the minimum of the norm or what is required in Canada. While most of the Holy Sites, such as the Grand Mosque in Mecca, are handicap-accessible, most hotels and transportation options are not. Check with your tour group provider to ensure your needs are well known and can be accommodated.


Baggage allowance and transportation

You should check with your tour operator for baggage allowance details like size and weight before packing your bags. Also consider consulting with the operator about what will be provided and what you should consider taking with you.

Find information about items prohibited in Saudi Arabia.


Hajj and Umrah travelers enter and depart from Jeddah (King Abdulaziz International Airport) or Madinah (Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Airport) airports only, as there is no airport in Mecca.

Expect crowded airport terminals and long waiting time upon arrival at the airports due to enormous number of pilgrims.

Travelers with only carry-on bags will find baggage transfer at the airport much easier than will those with checked baggage.

Between ritual sites

The Saudi government provides strict timetables to Hajj groups for all movements (bus, light rail, and foot) between the ritual sites. These routes are extremely congested, and travelers should expect long delays.

Smart phone apps

You may use the official smartphone applications made by of Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to help you around, especially “Nusuk” application.

Brining back Zamzam water and other eatables

Most airlines limit each traveler to one packed bottle of up to 5 or 10 liters (1.09 or 2.64 gallons) of Zamzam water as checked baggage, check with your tour operator for exact details of what your airline will allow and the requirement of the bottle packing.

Restrictions on what items you are allowed to bring into Canada vary depending on the product, country of origin and province of import. These restrictions are set up to help keep Canada's animals, plants and natural habitats healthy and safe. Due to constantly changing pest and disease situations, these restrictions may be adjusted at any time. Do your research each time you travel! You may consult Canada Border Services Agency - Food, plant and animal inspections page.

Safety information

Emergency contact information

Canadian citizens requiring emergency consular assistance can contact the Embassy of Canada in Riyadh at +966-11-2023288 or Check our website for working hours under “Contact Us”.

For emergency assistance after hours you may get in touch with the Emergency Watch and Response Centre (EWRC) in Ottawa. You may also reach the EWRC directly by dialing +1-613-996-8885 or by email at

The National Tawafa Establishment for Pilgrims of Turkey and Muslims of Europe, Americas, and Australia (TEAA)
Address: Mecca Al Mukarramah, Al Nuzha Road, near Alnuzha Bridge
Telephone: +966-012-920012013
Fax: +966-012-920006620

Local emergency services

For more information

You may visit the Saudi Ministry of Hajj websites for further reading:

What we can and cannot do

We can

We cannot

Please note that our ability to provide services in some instances may also be hindered by the laws and regulations of other countries. You may read Canadian Consular Services Charter for your information.

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