Hajj and Umrah are religious pilgrimages to Meccah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Hajj is performed during the last month of the Islamic year (DhulHijah) from the 8th to 12th day. The timing varies every year with respect to the Gregorian Calendar. Umrah can be performed at any time during the year.  Travelers who become ill during Hajj have access to medical facilities strategically located in and around the holy sites. With an estimated 25,000 health care workers in attendance, medical services are offered free of charge to all pilgrims.

Potential threats to health there include increased temperatures, thick dust, inadequate and overcrowded washing and sanitation facilities, and the possibility of separation or becoming lost.

Vaccines Required

  • Meningococcal: A valid vaccination certificate with a tetravalent (ACYW135) meningococcal vaccine administered no less than 10 days prior to arrival to Saudi Arabia. Confirm the validity of your vaccine with your physician or visa officials if you have taken the vaccine before.
  • Seasonal Influenza: The vaccine must be taken at least 10 days prior to commencing hajj. Influenza vaccination is particularly important for pregnant women, children less than 5 years of age, adults over 65 years of age and individuals with specific health conditions such as obesity, bronchial asthma, chronic heart or lung diseases, HIV/AIDS and immune suppression.
  • Yellow fever Vaccine: This is a requirement only if you are travelling from an area considered at risk for yellow fever.
  • Polio: Oral polio Vaccine is required if travelling from areas considered at risk.
  • The Ministry of Health in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia recommends all pilgrims to update their immunization status against vaccine-preventable diseases. This includes vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, varicella and mumps.
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines are recommended for pilgrims aged ≥65 years and for younger travellers with comorbidities.

Consult your travel agent and the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia to ensure all your required vaccinations are in order to travel.


Saudi Arabia is characterized by a desert climate, with the exception of the south-western part of the country, which exhibits a semi-arid climate. Summers, from June to August, are hot, with daytime temperatures in the shade exceeding 100 °F (38 °C) in almost all of the country. Temperatures in the desert frequently rise as high as 130 °F (55 °C) in the summer. Humidity is low, except along the coasts, where it can be high and very oppressive. Winter in Saudi Arabia peaks between December and January, however, it can extend up to a month either side. Average temperatures during the season are a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius, but in certain regions, it can drop closer to zero degrees by night; January is definitely considered the coldest month.

Though the route features mist sprinklers, the risk of heat-related illnesses causing incapacitation is high, and ambulances and medical stations along the route provide needed medical assistance.

  • It is recommended that travellers, especially older individuals, should avoid direct sun exposure while performing rituals. Wear adequate sunscreen, use umbrellas where possible, and seek shaded areas.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Medications that can exacerbate dehydration (e.g. diuretics) or interfere with heat exchange may need adjustment by treating physicians.
  • Long periods of walking and standing can cause chafing leading to fungal and bacterial infections. Wear light clothing that is not restrictive and change it frequently. Keep skin dry and use talcum powders.


Diarrheal diseases are common during Hajj. Our physicians offer a pre-travel consultation to discuss prevention and proper oral rehydration, use of antimotility agents, and self-treatment of traveller’s diarrhoea with antibiotics.

All pilgrims are recommended to observe the following procedures:

  • Wash hands with soap and water or a disinfectant, especially after coughing and sneezing, after using toilets, before handling and consuming food, and after touching animals.
  • Thoroughly clean and wash fresh vegetables and fruit.
  • Avoid eating improperly stored food.
  • Avoid drinking raw milk or eating meat that has not been thoroughly cooked.
  • Use disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing and dispose of used tissues in a wastebasket.
  • Wear regular masks when in crowded places.
  • Avoid close contact with people who appear ill and avoid sharing their personal belongings.
  • Avoid contact with sick animals to prevent zoonotic diseases.
  • Pilgrims bitten by an animal should seek immediate medical attention to address any potential rabies exposure.
  • Take necessary measures to avoid mosquito bites, including sleeping in airconditioned areas and using insect repellent.
  • Open sores and blisters should be disinfected and kept covered.
  • Foot protection is essential. Especially in diabetics. Ensure to wear durable and protective footwear.



People with chronic conditions should undergo functional assessment before travelling for Hajj. Consult our physicians to plan for each traveller’s unique risks, adjusting medical regimens if required, ensuring adequate supply of medicines, information about transporting and storing the medication or medical equipment properly to not affect the quality and validity, and education about symptoms that would require urgent medical attention.

  • Keep a special bag of medical supplies containing medications for common problems such as diarrhoea, colds, skin allergies, and as required for any emergency you may be predisposed to due to a chronic health condition.

Check out the link for more information or come talk to our physicians today.

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