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The Makkah Clock Royal Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

What is Umrah?

The Umrah pilgrimage is a non-mandatory pilgrimage made by Muslims to Mecca which is performed at any time of the year except the Hajj season. There are many series of ritual acts performed symbolic to the lives of Prophet Abraham and his wife which can be completed in a matter of hours. Umrah holds a huge reward and value in Islam. It is an act of spiritual purity for the Muslims who want to perform it to earn the pleasure of God.

During Umrah, pilgrims adorn a unified and simple form of garment consisting of two white sheets called the ihram. Many Muslims on Umrah visit the city of Medina to see Prophet Muhammad's mosque 'Al-Masjid An-Nabawi' and the tomb where he rests.

Most international pilgrims travelling for Umrah will need to obtain a visa. Keep reading to find out more.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

How to get to Mecca for Umrah

Most pilgrims fly to the closest airport to Mecca which is the King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) in Jeddah. However, some pilgrims may first want to fly to the city of Medina, Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz Airport (MED). Many airlines operate additional services to Jeddah and Medina.

King Abdulaziz International Airport in total has three terminals. The North Terminal is used for international flights and Umrah flights, the South Terminal is used for domestic flights, and the Hajj Terminal is used exclusively for Hajj. Discover more if you'd like more information on Hajj flights.

The Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz Airport in Medina is used for international flights (both Hajj and Umrah) as well as domestic flights. 

Airlines that fly to Mecca for Umrah

Below is a list of airlines that fly to King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah:
Afriqiyah Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air India, Air Arabia, Atlasglobal, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, British Airways, Citilink, EgyptAir, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Flyadeal, FlyBosnia, Flydubai, Flynas, Gulf Air, Garuda Indonesia, Jazeera Airways,, Jubba Airways, Kenya Airways am Air, Kuwait Airways, Lion Air, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Nile Air, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Pakistan International Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Air, Saudia, Scoot, SriLankan Airlines, Tunisair, Thai Airways International, Turkish Airlines, Uzbekistan Airways, Yemenia

Below is a list of airlines that fly to Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport, Medina:
Atlasglobal, EgyptAir, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Flydubai, Flynas, Garuda Indonesia, Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways, Lion Air, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Air, SalamAir, Saudi Gulf Airlines, Turkish Airlines

Do I need a visa for travel to Saudi Arabia during Umrah?

Visas are free for those travelling to Saudi Arabia for Umrah. Visas are given out throughout the year. To apply for an Umrah visa you must fill out an application form. Application forms are available to collect from your nearest Saudi embassy or consulate. 

Umrah Visa Requirements

  • Applicants must have a passport that is valid for at least six months from when you travel.
  • Women travelling to Umrah must travel with a Mahram and proof of this must be submitted with their visa application form.
  • On his application form, the Mahram must include complete information on any spouse, child, or relative that he is travelling with.
  • Applicants must submit a recent photograph with dimensions of 35mm x 45mm (passport size) along with their application.
  • Applicants that are over 15 years old must present proof that they have had meningitis and ACYW135 vaccinations.
  • Applicants under 15 years old, they must submit proof of vaccinations for meningitis and polio.
  • Applicants must have a non-refundable roundtrip ticket to Saudi Arabia with confirmed reservations.
  • Travellers should take with them documentation such as their travel Itinerary and hotel booking references.

Please check out our travel documents page to find out more about the powers of different types of travel documents, and find out whether you are required to have a passport to fly. Also, check out and US Department of States for travel advice on pilgrims travelling Umrah. For any further information, contact your local Saudi embassy or consulate.

Umrah Packing List

  • Islamic Materials - Umrah guide / Islamic Books, Pocket Quran, Dua (supplication) Books, Pocket Prayermat, Wudu Mate, Prayer Beads,
  • Clothing/General Accessories - Unstiched Ihram, Safety Pins for Ihram, Comfortable Loose Clothing, Pyjamas, Prayer Hat, Sunglasses, Flip Flops, String Bag, Travel Pouch, Mini-Electric Fan, Umbrella, International Travel Adapter, Saudi Sim Card, Notepad and Pen.
  • Toiletries - Tissues, Chapstick, Toothbrush/Miswaak, fragrant-free Toothpaste, Suncream, Shampoo, Soap, Deodorant and Wet Wipes.
  • Medication - General Prescribed Medication, Antibiotics, Cough and Cold medicine, Mini First-Aid Pack.

The above list is a thorough list of items to take with you on your pilgrimage. Don't feel obligated to follow everything on this list, but through preference select those items that you feel are necessary. You can choose to also travel light and then buy many of these items from local shops in Mecca and Medina.

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Flights for Umrah FAQs

How can Hajj affect my Umrah at that time of the year?

Hajj does have an effect on Umrah as you can't travel or get a visa from the Saudi embassy for Umrah in the Hajj season.