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The Hajj trip is one of the five pillars of Islam, as is well known. Millions of Muslims traveled to Makkah before the Covid 19 outbreak to fulfil different religious ceremonies in the Great Mosque of Makkah (Masjid al-Haram).

But besides this Ibda (act of devotion), there is also the Umrah, or “minor Hajj,” which also requires Muslims to go to the Holy City and perform a number of ceremonies.

Following the prosperous Hajj season of last year, Saudi nationals, expatriate residents, and foreign pilgrims have been permitted to do Umrah. But what about the Umrah this year? Will the Saudi government impose any new norms or restrictions?

The norms and guidelines put in place by the Saudi Arabian government must be followed when performing Umrah.

Moreover, The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced the temporary suspension of Umrah services in order to assist the seamless organization of the Hajj pilgrimage in 2023. The statement states that after the 15th of Dhul Qadah, which occurs on June 4th, the issue of Umrah visas would end. Those without a permission will have to wait until the issue of permits starts once the Hajj season is over if they want to do Umrah beyond this specified date. This method meets the demands of potential Umrah pilgrims while ensuring effective management and prioritization of resources for the Hajj pilgrimage.

If a person does not have an entrance permission issued by the appropriate government allowing them to operate in the holy places, the standards require that they be returned to their country of origin, together with their cars and any expatriate residents. Those who have a muqeem ID (resident identity card) issued in Makkah, an Umrah permit, or a Hajj permission are free from this requirement.

The ministry further emphasized that anyone with an Umrah visa must leave the Kingdom by the 29th of Dhul Qadah, which falls on June 18. The government made it clear that holders of Umrah visas are not permitted to make the Hajj trip. Umrah pilgrims with other visas must leave the nation, stay outside of Makkah, or get a Makkah permission in order to enter the holy city.


The Saudi government has released updated advice for pilgrims travelling to Makkah ahead of the Umrah in 2023:

  1. To ensure that others have the opportunity to conduct the sacred rite, travelers should undertake Umrah only once.
  2. Umrah slots must be booked online and once booked, the pilgrims must stick to the appointed date and time.

Age Requirements

For Umrah pilgrims, Saudi Arabia has established a minimum age limit. A valid admission permission is required for children aged 5 and above to do Umrah. To attend the Grand Mosque, kids must be accompanied by their parents and present identification proving they haven’t been exposed to COVID-19 patients or aren’t sick.

Vaccination Requirements

Even though Saudi Arabia has mostly removed the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for Umrah travelers, it is still strongly advised that each pilgrim double-check the regulations with their Umrah agency. In addition to ensuring a hassle-free Umrah travel, this is done to protect everyone’s health and safety.

Yellow Fever vaccine, Meningococcal Meningitis vaccine, Polio vaccine and Seasonal Flu Shot are a few more vaccines apart from Covid 19 that you to pay attention to before traveling to Saudi Arabia.

Females do not need a Mahram

Women who are willing to do the minor pilgrimage benefit from the simplicity of performing Umrah without the requirement of a mahram. To ensure the safety and protection of women, security has also been boosted across the Kingdom, on all forms of public transport, and at the ports. Additionally, a strong legal infrastructure has been built, including an anti-harassment mechanism.


To begin your holy pilgrimage, you can apply for either an Umrah visa or an e-visa.

According to an earlier statement from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, pilgrims travelling from the UK may now register for a visa by providing their facial and fingerprint information. Before a pilgrim arrives in the holy towns of Makkah and Madinah, procedures for electronically granting Umrah visas will be finished.

To verify their identity, applicants can scan their passports, submit a full-face photo via the front camera, and have their fingerprints scanned.

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has increased the 30-day limit on the duration of the Umrah visa to 90 days. With this new arrangement, pilgrims are free to go wherever they like within Saudi Arabia.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah advises travelers to get in touch with a recognized travel agency in the UK to get the best of package, finish the visa process, and schedule an appointment for Umrah and pray at the Ar-Rawdhah Ash-Shareefah.


The “Personal Visit Visa” allows Saudi nationals to invite friends to perform Umrah in the Kingdom. This information is provided by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

Listed below are the advantages of a personal visa:

  1. Apply for many visitors simultaneously
  2. Single or multiple entries into Saudi Arabia
  3. Perform Umrah and go to the mosque of the Prophet
  4. Explore historic monuments and religious sites
  5. Tourist visits to all Saudi areas and cities

Please be aware that travelers can only stay in Saudi Arabia for a total of 90 days on a single entry personal visa. The multiple entrance visa, however, has a 365-day validity period with a 90-day stay.


Some requirements for performing Umrah while on a tourist visa are as follows:

  1. Travelers are required to get comprehensive health insurance that covers costs associated with Covid-19, accidents that result in death or disability, fees associated with aircraft delays or cancellations, and other issues.
  2. Employment & residence proof
  3. Return ticket
  4. Complete Itinerary
  5. Bank statement stating your capacity to pay
  6. All relevant personal data

Umrah Packages from the UK

Umrah packages typically include travel, visa, airfare, hotel stays, meals & transportation charges.

Usually, an Umrah package from the UK is a 7-14 days trip through Makkah and Madinah cities.

For more information about Umrah packages in the UK, you can check out our specific Umrah deals.


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