IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST BENEFICENT THE MOST MERCIFUL
Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik.
Labbaik, Laa Shareeka Laka, Labbaik.
Innal Hamda, Wan Ni'mata, Laka wal Mulk
Las Shareeka Lak.'
Every year, around 20,000 British Muslims travel to Makkah for Hajj. We know that this journey is a deeply important expression of faith. We also know that it is a very demanding endeavour. The aim of this leaflet is to help you to prepare for the Hajj and to explain what services the British Hajj Delegation can offer British Pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.
BEFORE YOU GO
A successful pilgrimage requires careful preparation. Talk to those who have already performed the Hajj. Make sure your passport and visa for Saudi Arabia are in order. Neither the Foreign & Commonwealth Office nor the British Haj Delegation are able to deal with Hajj visa applications. These should be submitted through an authorised UK travel agent or tour operator. Take a photocopy of your passport and keep it with you at all times. Use a reputable travel agent to book travel and accommodation. Be clear about what is included in your package. Make sure your return ticket is confirmed. Take out full travel insurance to cover illness, injury and loss of money, baggage and tickets. Make sure you have been inoculated with the `quadrivalent' meningococcal vaccine (ACWY Vac), which protects against four different strains of meningitis. (Consult your GP if you are in any doubt and see the Department of Health leaflet: ('ward against Meningitis and save lives at Hajj or Umrah this year- available in seven languages from your Mosque or Hajj travel agent and at www.doh.gov.uk/traveladvice/hajj.htm)
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE AT JEDDAH AIRPORT
The Saudi authorities take their Hajj responsibilities very seriously. The well-being of pilgrims is very important to them. But the numbers arriving at and departing from Jeddah airport during the Hajj can
be daunting. Pilgrims should be prepared for delays. Basic facilities are available, but it is a good idea to take food and water with you. Think of the particular needs of elderly pilgrims travelling with you.
On arrival, the Saudi authorities will take your passport in exchange for a receipt. The Pilgrim Guides Establishment will hold it for you while you are performing Hajj and return it to you on departure. We strongly advise that you carry a photocopy of your passport (back page and visa page) at all times. It is also useful to keep with you the addresses and telephone numbers of your hotel, family and friends.
The Saudi authorities do not recognise dual nationality and may, therefore, confiscate second passports. Pilgrims should be aware that the Hajj authorities might also group them according to the nationality of the passports they carry. This could result in separation from family and friends if you carry a different passport to them.
Pilgrims travelling on a non-British passport are not entitled to Consular assistance from the British Consulate-General. British nationals who choose to travel on non-British passports should ensure that all British visas or endorsements are clearly shown in that passport. Any documentation required to re-enter the United Kingdom should be obtained before leaving the UK, to prevent any delays in returning.
HEALTH AND WELFARE
A successful Hajj requires patience and thought to safeguard yours and others' safety. Some 2 million pilgrims visit the Holy sites during the Hajj. Some of the Holy places can be very crowded, particularly at the stoning of the Satans at Mina and the circumambulation of the Kaaba. The crowds can be particularly daunting for the elderly or frail. Pilgrims can become separated from their family or friends. Make a note of the location of your camp and tent and agree a meeting point with family and friends in case you do become separated.
The performance of Hajj is physically demanding even if you are fit. Pilgrims need to protect themselves from the sun, dehydration, exhaustion, foot problems, and respiratory and bronchial illnesses. Always make sure you carry enough food and water, an umbrella to protect you from the sun and a spare pair of sandals.
If you are taking medication you should bring an adequate supply, accompanied by a doctor's certificate describing the medication. This will help avoid problems with Customs. Always carry essential medicines with you. Paying particular attention to personal hygiene and sanitation will help you avoid illness.
The Saudi Government provides adequate and widely available services. The British Hajj Delegation can provide emergency medical and Consular assistance at Makkah during the Hajj. However, the numbers using all these services can, at times, be overwhelming.
HELP AND ASSISTANCE
We hope that you have a trouble-free Hajj. If something does go wrong, the British Hajj Delegation is on hand to assist you. The Delegation is a team of volunteers from the British Muslim community. They will be in Saudi Arabia throughout the Hajj to provide help and assistance to British Hajjis. The Delegation will include a team of doctors and counsellors, who will offer initial treatment of illnesses and injuries, as well as counselling support and advice. They will be accompanied by Muslim staff from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The Delegation will be located in the Joharat Al-Mahzeer Hotel, Al-Hijlak, Ibrahim Al-Khaleel Street, Makkah (see `Useful contact details' section).
Working with the British Consulate-General in Jeddah, the Delegation will provide you with a full range of Consular services.
The Delegation can:
- advise you on how to transfer money;
- provide contact details for local lawyers and
- arrange for a next of kin to be told of an accident or a death and advise on procedures;
- give advice on UK passport and visa
The Delegation cannot:
- rearrange travel bookings;
- get involved in lost baggage disputes;
- pay your hotel, legal, medical or travel bills;
- get you out of prison;
- give legal advice;
- intervene in court cases;
- investigate a crime.
The British Hajj Delegation 2002 is headed by Lord
Patel of Blackburn.
USEFUL CONTACT DETAILS
In Saudi Arabia
British Hajj Delegation
Joharat Al-Mahzeer Hotel
Ibrahim Al-Khaleel Street
(Opposite King Fahad Entrance Gate)
Tel: (02) 542 9490/(02) 542 9841
Fax: (02) 572 5740
|British Hajj Delegation Medical Team
||Tel: (05) 463 8847
|British Hajj Delegation Consular Team
||Tel: (05) 463 8849
|General contact point in Makkah or lost pilgrims
||Tel: (02) 574 9920
|British Consulate-General, Jeddah
||Tel: (02) 622 5550
Fax:(02) 622 6249
|Ministry of Haij:
Tel: (02) 557 1714
Tel: (02) 654 4917
|Airline Offices in Jeddah:
Tel: (02) 669 3464
Tel: (02) 632 3333
Tel: (02) 665 0000
Tel: (02) 667 0888
Tel: (02) 651 2000
|In The United Kingdom|
British Muslim Organisations in the UK:
|Union of Muslim Organisations of UK and Eire (UMO)
||Tel: 020 7229 0538|
Tel: 020 7221 6608
|Muslim Council of Britain||Tel: 020 8903 9024|
Fax: 020 8903 9026
|Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK||Tel: 07752 721 546|
Tel: 07958 703 337
Fax: 0121 446 6269
|The World Federation of KSI Muslim Communities||Tel: 020 8954 9881|
Fax: 020 8954 9034
To call the UK from Saudi Arabia Dial 00 44
(If the next digit is a `0', drop it and dial the next number)
To call Saudi Arabia from the UK dial 00 966
For more travel advice visit:
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Department of Health: