Understanding Mandatory Vaccinations, Umrah Permits, and Visa Requirements

Thinking of embarking on an Umrah journey from the UAE during Ramadan? Here are three crucial factors you must grasp to ensure a seamless pilgrimage.

Mandatory Influenza Vaccination: As of March 26, 2024, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) has mandated influenza vaccinations for all Umrah pilgrims, aligning with the requirements for Hajj pilgrims. It's imperative to receive the flu vaccine at least 10 days before your departure to ensure its effectiveness and your immunity. Pilgrims with chronic illnesses should consult their physicians to assess their health suitability for Hajj and Umrah.

Flu vaccines are readily available across the UAE in private clinics, hospitals, and government health centers managed by entities like Dubai Health, Emirates Health Services (EHS), SEHA, and Mubadala Health. If you've already been vaccinated within the past year, simply present your vaccination card via the Al Hosn app at the time of departure.

Validity of UAE Visa: Ensure that your UAE residence visa remains valid for at least three months when applying for the Saudi eVisa, which grants multiple entries and is valid for one year. Additionally, your passport must have a validity of at least six months. If you've previously applied for the visa and plan to travel during Ramadan, verify that your UAE residence visa remains valid for the required duration.

For a comprehensive guide on Saudi eVisa application procedures, refer to our detailed guide.

Nusuk Permit Application: Saudi Arabia recently announced restrictions on multiple Umrah permits issuance for Ramadan, emphasizing that pilgrim numbers need to be managed to alleviate overcrowding during this peak period. To perform Umrah, international Muslims must secure a permit in advance through the Nusuk mobile application. This permit is essential before arriving at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

The Nusuk app, available for Apple and Android devices, serves as the official guide to Mecca and Medina, offering pilgrims essential information on immigration requirements, Umrah group packages, rituals, and key sites within the holy cities.

By adhering to these critical guidelines, pilgrims can embark on their Umrah journey from the UAE during Ramadan with confidence and preparedness. Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim; edited by jjron, Wikimedia commons.