Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) undertaken each year by Muslims from inside Saudi Arabia and around the world.
Explore this page for information about:
- staying safe and secure during the Hajj
- taking care of your health
- local laws and customs
- entry requirements for Saudi Arabia
- where to get help
Also read our travel advice for Saudi Arabia.
Hajj processes in 2022 have changed.
Australian citizens and residents in Australia can only apply for the Hajj via the Motawif portal. This portal also allows for electronic Hajj visa applications.
The Motawif portal for registrations to perform Hajj 2022 has now closed.
To attend, you must be
- under 65 years old
- fully vaccinated against COVID-19
You must also meet all other entry requirements.
Potential pilgrims must register their interest and then be drawn from a ballot. If you have registered your interest via the Motawif Online Portal, monitor your email frequently. You'll be notified of your selection via email. Follow instructions provided in this email to confirm your place in this year’s Hajj.
Safety and security
Around one million pilgrims are expected to perform Hajj this year. Expect overcrowding at religious sites.
Crowd crushes are common, often at bottlenecks.
- Look ahead of you and check for crowd noise.
- If you're caught in a crowd surge, keep moving and shift sideways from time to time.
Authorities limit the use of vehicles around Hajj. Follow their instructions.
Stampede incidents have happened, so ensure you follow road safety rules and don't walk against the direction of the traffic.
Know the nearest emergency exits and evacuation routes to your accommodation.
Read the safety information available on the Saudi General Directorate of Civil Defense for Pilgrimage Safety Instructions and Hajj Awareness.
Terrorism is a significant threat in Saudi Arabia. An attack can occur at any time. Religious sites have been targeted in the past. In 2017, Saudi Security Forces disrupted an attempted suicide attack on the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
See our travel advice for Saudi Arabia for more information.
In an emergency, contact your family and friends to let them know you're safe.
Temperatures during the Hajj season are likely to be extreme. June to August are the hottest months of the year. The temperature can be over 50 degrees celsius.
- Minimise time directly under the sun.
- Drink water to avoid dehydration.
Sandstorms and dust storms are common. These can cause breathing and sight problems. During sandstorms and dust storms
- take shelter
- protect your airways with a dust mask, scarf or fabric.
Avoid insect bites to reduce your risk of infection by mosquito-borne diseases.
Because of the large numbers of pilgrims, illnesses are common. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers you for illness. Follow the health tips for Hajj provided by the Saudi Ministry of Health.
Carry your vaccination certificates with you in case authorities ask to see them.
Ask your doctor or travel clinic if you are in any doubt.
Find more information on health regulations (PDF 1.19 MB) from the Saudi Ministry of Health.
You must be fully vaccinated against
- COVID-19 with a vaccine approved by the Ministry of Health
- meningococcal meningitis
- yellow fever if you're travelling to Saudi Arabia from a destination where yellow fever is a risk.
You can find a list of at-risk yellow fever destinations on the Saudi Ministry of Health website.
Seasonal influenza and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus
Seasonal influenza and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are risks.
Get vaccinated against seasonal influenza before you leave.
While there, avoid direct contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infection. Avoid close contact with animals, particularly camels.
Seek medical advice as soon as you feel unwell.
Medication and medical devices
If you need medication, bring enough for the duration of your trip. Carry the original prescription and a doctor's certificate explaining
- what the medication is
- why you need it.
You must report any medication or medical devices you're carrying when you enter and leave.
Take enough legal medicine for your trip. Carry your medication in its original packaging along with your doctor's prescription. Don't provide another pilgrim or organiser with medicine.
Saudi health warning
The Saudi Ministry of Health recommends that you don't perform the Hajj if you have a:
- terminal illnesses
- severe medical condition
These include advanced heart, breathing, liver and kidney diseases.
Consider your physical ability to undertake the Hajj. Extreme weather conditions are likely. Health risks might increase in large crowds. See your doctor before travelling.
If you have a disability, be prepared for accessibility standards to be different to those in Australia.
Laws and customs
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Authorities may prevent you from leaving the country until issues are resolved.
The following acts are prohibited:
- holding unauthorised gatherings and group prayers
- raising voices
- performing rituals of worship not practised in Saudi Arabia
- producing or distributing printed or electronic material, unless the Ministry of Culture and Information has authorised it
- criticising Saudi Arabia, its leadership, policies or the Saudi royal family.
Avoid making statements that could be interpreted as blasphemy. If you're suspected of violating these restrictions, you could be sentenced to long jail terms and lashings.
Avoid demonstrations as they may turn violent. If you're found near one, you may be detained.
Obey signs restricting photos and videos.
The Saudi Government doesn't recognise dual nationality of its citizens. Immigration authorities may confiscate second passports if found. The Australian Government won't be able to provide consular help if you don't enter on your Australian passport.
Dual nationals must enter and depart Saudi Arabia on the same passport.
- proof of vaccination against
- yellow fever (if required)
- meningococcal meningitis
- a Hajj visa
- a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test for taken within 72 hours before departure to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- to register your arrival within 72 hours before departure.
- to be under 65 years.
Declare any currency over SAR 60,000 on arrival and departure from Saudi Arabia.
Foreign pilgrims, including Australians, must have Hajj visas in advance. You will not be able to do Hajj on a tourist visa. Make sure you follow your visa conditions. You can apply for a visa electronically when you register on the Motawif Online Portal
- If you overstay your Hajj visa, you may face a large fine, be jailed and/or deported. You may also be banned from returning to Saudi Arabia in the future.
- You can't work in Saudi Arabia on a Hajj visa.
- A Hajj visa is for travel to Jeddah, Makkah and Medina only. Saudi authorities usually won't allow you to travel outside these cities before or after the Hajj.
- All pilgrims must leave Saudi Arabia by the 10th of Muharram (8 August 2022).
Saudi Arabia uses the Islamic calendar for all official matters. Make sure you know when your visa expires.
The Australian Embassy in Riyadh can't intervene in immigration or visa matters.
For more information, contact the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
In addition to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, some Hajj pilgrims now fly directly to Medina and proceed to Mecca by road. There is no option to fly to Mecca. Upon arriving in Saudi Arabia, you will have to go through a number of procedures at the airport before being allowed to depart towards Mecca or Medina. Contact a representative of Motawif for assistance and guidance on transportation to the allocated places/sites of Hajj. Contact information can be found on the Motawif website.
The Saudi authorities may only allow pilgrims to leave the dedicated Hajj terminal.
At the Airport:
- Expect lengthy delays in hot and humid conditions when you arrive and depart the airport. Airport formalities can take many hours.
- It can take several hours to clear customs and immigration due to the large numbers of pilgrims. Take food and water with you.
- Travellers 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 authorities apply strict schedules for all travel (bus, train, and foot) between the ritual sites. Be prepared and expect long delays on all routes and modes of transport.
- Expect tighter security at transport hubs as well as increased traffic and congestion.
- Trains are typically overcrowded with pilgrims waiting several hours at the train stations at Arafat and Muzdalifah on crowded platforms before being able to board a train.
- You may consider using maps and smartphone applications to navigate the sites of the Hajj ritual, which extend from the Grand Mosque (Al-Masjid al-Haram) to Arafat.
Motawif will issue an identification badge for pilgrims. The Motawif team will be at the airport on your arrival in Saudi Arabia. They will provide you with your Hajj ID and further instructions and information.
Always carry contact information for your hotel, family members and travel agent. Confirm your full itinerary and travel inclusions before arriving. The Australian Government can't intervene in commercial disputes with Hajj travel operators or the Hajj operator.
Make sure your family have a copy of your Hajj ID details, so they can contact the Motawif team and locate you quickly in an emergency.
Information about accommodation is available on the portal after you register.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah distributes pilgrims to their assigned sections designated by country.
- General enquiries
- Phone: 800-4304444
- Phone: 800-8912027 (from inside Saudi Arabia)
- Phone: +966-920002814 (from outside Saudi Arabia)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ministry of Hajj and Umrah office in Jeddah
- Phone (24 hours): +966 (0) 12 647 7551 or +966 (0) 12 665 5077
- Ministry of Hajj and Umrah office in Medina
- Phone: +966 (0) 14 826 3131
- Ministry of Hajj and Umrah office in Makkah
- Phone: +966 (0) 12 564 9999
- Website: www.haj.gov.sa/en
Before leaving Saudi Arabia, find out and follow all baggage restrictions, including in relation to Zamzam water.
Where to get help
Depending on your enquiry, your best option may be to first contact your Motawif group leader, family, friends, airline, travel agent, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
If you get lost, show your Hajj ID card to security personnel, which has your Camp and Tent number.
Smart Phone Apps
The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has developed smartphone applications to help people who are planning to perform Hajj or Umrah. You can use these apps to help you around, especially 'Manasikana' application.
Emergency phone numbers
- Ambulance: 997
- Police: 999
- Traffic accidents: 993
- Unified number for Emergency Services Centre: 911
- Saudi Arabia Directory Enquiries: 905
- Makkah reception centre
Phone: +966 (0) 12 530 8200
- Medina reception centre
Phone: +966 (0) 14 8263131 / +966 (0) 14 8321985 / +966 (0) 14 8226108
The number of pilgrims using these phone services can result in long delays.
Hospitals in Makkah
- General Hira'a Hospital, Makkah
Phone: +966 (0) 12 520 3535
Emergency: extension 4441 / 4449 / 4438 / 4442
Admittance: extension 4170
- Ajiad Hospital, Makkah
Phone: +966 (0) 12 573 0070
Emergency: extension 114
Admittance: extension 129
Information: extension 121
- King Faisal Hospital, Makkah
Phone: +966 (0) 12 526 3200
- Al Nour Hospital, Makkah
Phone: +966 (0) 12 566 5000
Emergency: extension 1818
Patient information: extension 1121
- King Abdul Aziz Al Zahir Hospital, Makkah
Phone: +966 (0) 12 544 2400
Emergency (males): extension 1158 / 1156
Emergency (females): extension 1155
Admittance and information: extension 1167
Lost or stolen passport
Please ensure that you keep your passport safe and in a secure place. Be aware it's normal practice for group leaders to take and keep safe passports of pilgrims. To replace a lost or stolen passport, you'll need to complete a full application form and provide original photographs to Australian Embassy in Riyadh.
If your passport is lost or stolen:
- report it immediately to local authorities
- notify the Australian Embassy in Riyadh or the Consular Emergency Centre.
To replace a lost or stolen passport, you may need to go to the Australian Embassy in Riyadh.
You'll need to get special approval from local authorities to travel to Riyadh. The Australian Embassy in Riyadh is unable to help you get this approval.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
In Saudi Arabia, you can get consular assistance from:
Australian Embassy in Riyadh
KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA
Phone: +966 11 250 0900
Fax: +966 11 250 0902
If you can't reach the embassy in a consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
- See our destination-specific travel advisories.
- Read our guide for all travellers.
- Understand how and when we can help. Read the Consular Services Charter.