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Updated December 2022

Umrah is one of the important pilgrimages that Muslims may perform at any time during the year in Saudi Arabia. This pilgrimage is a part of the grand pilgrimage, Hajj, which is performed annually.

We’ve gathered all the important information that you need to perform Umrah from UAE in this article. Read further to find out.

Umrah 2022 news and update

According to the latest update from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Saudi Arabia, Saudi citizens can now invite their friends to the Kingdom to perform Umrah with the “Personal Visa”.

The benefits of the personal visa are the following:

  1. Apply for several guests at the same time
  2. Enter Saudi Arabia once or multiple times
  3. Can be issued for one or multiple trips
  4. Perform Umrah and visit the Prophet’s mosque
  5. Visit religious sites and historical monuments
  6. Touristic trips to all Saudi regions and cities

The Saudi Arabia personal visa single entry is valid for 90 days, and the visitors can stay for 90 days, while the multiple entry is valid for 365 days with a 90-day stay.

Can Emiratis perform Umrah in 2022?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reopened Umrah visa applications following a successful Hajj season. Umrah seekers from the UAE and all over the world are now allowed to apply for the pilgrimage which recommenced on 30 July 2022 (Muharram 1).

Recently, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah allowed women aged 18 to 65 to perform Umrah without a male guardian or “mahram”, but on the condition that they are a part of a group. They are also required to be vaccinated for one dose (partially vaccinated) and free of any diseases.

Book Cheap Flights to Saudi Arabia Book Cheap Flights to Saudi Arabia

 

However, travellers arriving on visit visas (including Umrah pilgrims) must have medical insurance to cover any COVID-19-related treatment costs during their stay.

Umrah Flights From UAE: How to Travel For Umrah This Year

When is the best time for Umrah 2022?

Many Muslims prefer to perform Umrah during Ramadan. Especially since the holy month itself is believed to be a time when the Qur’an is first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad SAW, thus, Ramadan is marked as a month full of blessings. That is why, all good deeds are encouraged during Ramadan, including Umrah.

Ramadan in Dubai and the UAE 2023: When and How to Celebrate

However, visiting Umrah during Ramadan can be a little bit expensive, since the cost of the Umrah package is expected to rise during Ramadan, especially on the last 10 days of Ramadan since people are wanting to spend the last days of Ramadan in the holy cities of Makkah and Medina. A significant rise in cost has been reported for Umrah packages from Umrah operators in Saudi Arabia from SAR110 to SAR200.

The same case will likely occur for Umrah operators in the UAE as well, considering Saudi Arabia now has established the Value Added Tax (VAT) to 15%, foreign exchange rate and other aspects would make the cost of Umrah packages rise.

What are the requirements for Umrah 2022?

Umrah Visa

Saudi Arabia is currently issuing permits to foreign pilgrims wishing to perform the Umrah, including the ones from the UAE.

Saudi Arabia has recently extended the validity of the Umrah from 30 days to 90 days. This new arrangement allows pilgrims to move about freely within Saudi Arabia without any restraints.

Here are the documents that you need to prepare to obtain your Umrah Visa:

  • A completed original Umrah visa application form. The statement written at the end of the application form must be carefully read and signed. (To obtain a visa application form by post, send a large, self-addressed envelope to your nearest Saudi Consulate.) Note: If someone has a non-Muslim name, he or she should submit a certificate from a mosque or an Islamic centre stating that the applicant is a Muslim.
  • One recent passport-size colour photograph with a white background should be attached to the application form. The photograph must be a full-face view in which the visa applicant is facing the camera directly. Side or angled views are NOT accepted.
  • Passports should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of submission of the application form.
  • Confirmed and non-refundable airline ticket. Departure from Saudi Arabia should be within two weeks from the date of entry.
  • A vaccination certificate against Meningococcal Meningitis should be attached. The certificate of vaccinations should have been issued not more than three years and not less than 10 days prior to entry to Saudi Arabia and it should be valid for three years. The vaccination certificate must be with the applicant on entry to Saudi Arabia.
  • If the applicant is not a national of the country he/she is applying from, a valid residency permit must be submitted with the application.

Additional requirements include:

  • for those whose names do not reflect their Islamic belief, they must attach a certificate issued by a mosque or an Islamic centre stating that the applicant is indeed a Muslim

After gathering all the requirements, you are strongly encouraged to enlist the services of an approved travel agent as listed on the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s official page to apply for your Umrah visa. The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced the possibility for international Umrah seekers to plan their own itineraries electronically through approved platforms. You can find the list of approved platforms on https://maqam.gds.haj.gov.sa/Home/OTAs

According to the latest update from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Eatmarna app is replaced with the new app called Nusuk (available on iPhone, Android, and Huawei). It is an app that will enable people to apply for e-visa, book permits for Umrah, Rawdah As Sheerafah, Umrah packages, tourist sites in the Kingdom, and many more services.

Furthermore, when entering Saudi Arabia from the UAE, pilgrims must register on the Nusuk Application. With Nusuk, travellers can easily organize their entire visit, from applying for an eVisa to booking hotels and flights, through the following steps:

  • Click “Apply for Visa”
  • Enter your nationality as “United Arab Emirates”
  • Click “View Package Providers”

Nusuk’s features to select Umrah Package providers allow you to choose travel agencies and professionals to manage itineraries, curate trips and enjoy preferential rates on a wide variety of experiences.

Umrah testing requirements

All foreign pilgrims are now allowed to enter Saudi Arabia for Umrah without having to provide a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result before departure to the Kingdom. Additionally, travellers arriving on visit visas must have medical insurance to cover any COVID-19-related treatment costs during their stay.

Umrah vaccine requirements

While Saudi Arabia has lifted most COVID-19-related restrictions, pilgrims looking to perform the Umrah are required to present proof of vaccination upon their arrival at the Kingdom.

The approved vaccines are:

  • Moderna
  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Janssen
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca

For holders of Umrah visas vaccinated with vaccines other than the ones mentioned above, quarantine may be mandatory.

Source: وزارة الحج والعمرة – الأسئلة الشائعة (haj.gov.sa) 

Apart from the COVID vaccine, there are a few more vaccine requirements that foreign pilgrims have to pay attention to before their arrival in Saudi Arabia:

Yellow Fever vaccine: All foreign pilgrims arriving from countries or areas at risk of yellow fever must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate showing the person was vaccinated at least 10 days and no more than 10 years before their arrival.

Meningococcal Meningitis vaccine: All foreign pilgrims have to be vaccinated against meningitis at least ten days and no more than three years before their arrival in Saudi Arabia.

Polio vaccine: All foreign pilgrims from polio-endemic countries and re-established transmission countries have to at least receive one dose of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) at least six weeks before their arrival in Saudi Arabia. They will have to present their proof of vaccination upon their arrival and they will also receive one more dose of OPV during their arrival.

Seasonal Flu Shot: The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia recommends all foreign pilgrims be vaccinated against seasonal influenza before their arrival in KSA. Pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health conditions are highly recommended to take the Seasonal Flu Shot before their arrival.

For more information regarding the Umrah vaccine requirements refer to the article below:

Umrah Vaccine 2022: What Pilgrims Need to Prepare This Year

Umrah vaccine registration

An individual’s vaccination status will first need to be registered on Saudi Arabia’s Muqeem portal, at least 72 hours before departure to the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia Muqeem Arrival Registration: Rules and Procedures for Travel to Saudi Arabia

The vaccination certificates are required to be attested by the official health authorities from the origin country of travellers. This can be the Ministry of Health or an authorized health authority. The original certificate needs to be carried upon travelling to/from the Kingdom.

All information will be verified prior to boarding and at the entry points. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in entry prevention and other legal consequences.

Umrah quarantine requirements

In line with Saudi Arabia’s latest Umrah entry requirements, no quarantine will be necessary for all foreign pilgrims fully vaccinated with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Janssen.

For those who have had one dose of the following vaccines:

  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac
  • Covaxin

they will be subject to institutional quarantine for three days and must submit a PCR test certificate after 48 hours from the date of institutional quarantine.

Social distancing and mask-wearing

The Hajj and Umrah authorities have lifted the social distancing measures in the Grand Holy Mosque, the Prophet’s Holy Mosque and all other mosques. Note that mask-wearing, though not required outdoors, is still required to be worn inside mosques and other indoor facilities.

Can I perform Umrah using a tourist visa?

Normally, yes you can. Everyone visiting Saudi Arabia on a tourist visa may obtain an Umrah permit by applying through the Nusuk App. However, since the United Arab Emirates does not qualify to apply for the Saudi e-Visa, the residents of the UAE, who wish to perform Umrah in the KSA should apply for the visa at the nearest Saudi Arabia Embassy, in their country.

Once the Hajj season is over, performing Umrah on a tourist visa does offer its own advantages such as a longer stay period, permission for multiple entries, and the freedom to choose your own hotel for Umrah.

Here are our top picks of hotels in Makkah and Madinah that you can book to ensure suitable accommodation.

Makkah Tower Hotel

© makkah-hnt.com

Set in the heart of Makkah overlooking the Masjid al-Haram, the Makkah Tower Hotel offers a range of excellent rooms and suites set in a prime location. Enjoy a host of premium amenities, including excellent dining and majestic views from the panoramic glass lifts.

Rating: 5*
Distance to Masjid al-Haram: less than 1 kilometer/1-minute walk
Price: From AED 325 per night

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Pullman ZamZam Makkah

© pullman-zamzam-makkah.com

The Pullman ZamZam Makkah hotel is an iconic 5-star hotel that regularly welcomes Umrah and Hajj pilgrims with Hijazi hospitality. The hotel provides pilgrims with partial views over the ever-inspiring Kaaba and the Masjid Al Haram. Amenities include an excellent in-room dining experience featuring international and oriental specialities and facilities for the disabled.

Rating: 5*
Distance to Masjid al-Haram: less than 1 kilometer/1-minute walk
Price: From AED 333 per night

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Conrad Makkah

© hilton.com

Umrah pilgrims will definitely be able to take advantage of the hotel’s close proximity to both the Masjid al-Haram and the Kaaba. Conrad Makkah features a fusion of contemporary and traditional Islamic architecture and a range of dining options serving Arabic and international cuisine, a fitness centre, and light-filled meeting spaces.

Rating: 5*
Distance to Masjid al-Haram: less than 1 kilometer/3-minute walk
Price: From AED 595 per night

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Crowne Plaza Madinah

Hotel Exterior

The hotel is in proximity to Masjid al-Nabawi and Holy Rawdah. Pilgrims can walk or take a free shuttle directly to the entrances of the Prophet’s Holy Mosque. The hotel concierge can help with suggestions on restaurants, markets and shopping malls in nearby areas in Madinah.

Rating: 5*
Distance to Prophet’s Holy Mosque: 1.1 kilometer/6-minute walk
Prices start from AED 1,049 per night.

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Madinah Hilton

Exterior Hotel With Holy Mosque

© hilton.com

Madinah Hilton is a two-minute walk from the Masjid al-Nabawi and Holy Rawdah. It is located at a 25 minutes distance from the airport and has shops, 2 restaurants and 1 café. The hotel also provides a range of kids’ amenities upon request.

Rating: 5*
Distance to Prophet’s Holy Mosque: 2.5 kilometre/16-minute walk
Prices starts from AED 1,758 per night.

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Note: Hotel and accommodation prices are accurate at the time of writing.

Umrah permit

The Nusuk application (available on iPhone, Android, and Huawei) has replaced Eatmarna and Tawakkalna apps to obtain the Umrah permit.

Nusuk offers all pilgrims and visitors easy-to-use planning, a gateway for their journeys to Makkah and Madinah. This e-platform aims to enhance the experience of Muslims visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from all over the world and facilitate the arrival procedures for visitors to perform Umrah.

Umrah 2022 package in UAE

You can book your Umrah package from one of Saudi Arabia-approved travel agents for the UAE of your choice. The prices vary depending on which package you choose. Here are a few estimates:

Overland travel (average cost)
• AED 700 per person, including transport and accommodation in one-, two-star or unrated hotels.

• AED 950 per person, including transport and accommodation in three- or four-star hotels.

• AED 1,500 per person, including transport and accommodation in five-star hotels.

Air travel (average cost)
• AED 3,200 per person, including transport and accommodation in three- or four-star hotels.

• AED 3,700 to AED 4,000 per person, including transport and accommodation in five-star hotels.

Please note that the prices will go up during the Rajab, Shaaban and Ramadan.

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