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Millions of people from all parts of the world converge in one city: Makkah. Each of these individuals have the same goal as you: to perform a successful Hajj. One should arrive in Saudi Arabia expecting many delays to occur. This is simply because of the sheer amount of people in one specific area, all typically traveling on the same day and same time. Imagine that! We ask you to please be understanding and patient should there be any delays (and they are indeed likely to occur). We have found it ironically more efficient to walk in many situations with regards to the Hajj (walking is often easier than waiting on traffic congested roads and tunnels). Be prepared to walk if the situation calls for it.

As for the weather in Saudi Arabia, it can be very hot at times, and it is important that the pilgrim stays not only hydrated but away from the sun, and under a shade when possible. Unnecessary exposure to the sun for a prolonged period could put yourself at risk.

Also, be mindful of the many different cultures and mentalities converging in one area. Sometimes, emotions can rise up and cause unnecessary tension in an already stressful environment. Be respectful of all those around you, and recognize that the way you are used to doing things might differ from one person to another.

Advice on Your Suitcase

Traveling to Saudi Arabia is not necessarily the easiest of travels, nor is it any easier upon your luggage. For this reason, we highly recommend that you travel with sturdy luggage that you are confident will not break down on you during a critical juncture of the journey. Something to also take into consideration is the size of the luggage. Due to the shifting and moving nature of the Hajj, we recommend a reasonable size. Think about the fact that you will be getting on and off various buses, planes and perhaps other modes of transportation.

Prior to leaving, take a picture of your luggage. This small effort on your behalf will become handy should the airline lose your luggage (which happens more frequently than desired). Try to find a unique method of identifying your luggage - this is very useful when there are so many similar styles and colors. Please note: it is crucial that your suitcase and all hand luggages are labeled.

Arrival at the Airport

Please arrive at the airport at least 4 hours prior to the departure time. The food served on board during our flights is generally Halal, but please reconfirm with your airline directly. To be on the safe side, you can ask for Asian vegetarian (our recommendation).

For baggage allowance information, please call or check the website of your specific airline. Labeling your luggage and identifying it with the luggage tags provided by Sara International Travel is mandatory

Clearing the Hajj Terminal At Jeddah

Due to the large amount of pilgrims arriving from all over the world, certain rules and regulations assigned by the Saudi authorities must be followed. Every pilgrim must be assigned to a group and his/her passport will be kept safely with the “Mutawwif” (also known as the “Muallim”) until they leave Makkah. Upon arriving in Madīnah, it will be kept with the Adilla office.

Please take note of the following three steps which provide you with critical information regarding this part of your Hajj journey.

Upon your arrival at the Airport Hājj terminal, you will be stationed in a large room where you will wait until the passport hall becomes available.

The waiting time here is dependent on whether a flight has arrived prior to your arrival and if so, how fast the passport officers are processing passports. Please note that it could take up to 3-7 hours to go through immigration control.

After your passport has been stamped, you will collect your luggage and go through security check. Since you are in a group, please consider your fellow members in the group, and try your best not to delay everyone by making sure you have all your luggage clearly labeled with your name and address.

You then exit the arrivals hall where you will see a counter just outside the door where your Hajj draft verified.

There will be porters who will collect your luggage and place them on trolleys while you are at the counter. Make sure that you know where they have placed your luggage and try not to lose track of it by taking note of the trolley number. If you do not keep your eyes on the trolley, you are at high risk of losing your luggage. (A picture of the trolley is on the next page.)

Food facilities and rest areas are available at the Hājj terminal. You can freshen up; have something to eat as it may take between two to three hours until you leave for Makkah.

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