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Saudi Arabia: Hajj Pilgrimage 2018

Over 2 million Muslim pilgrims are expected to visit Mecca to perform the Hajj from 19 to 24 August 2018.

As there is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Saudi Arabia, New Zealanders considering making the pilgrimage are advised to read our travel advisory for Saudi Arabia. If you decide to travel, we recommend registering your details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and ensuring you have comprehensive insurance coverage before you go.

New Zealanders performing the Hajj are advised to follow any instructions issued by the local authorities, avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable, such as electronic devices, cameras and jewellery and obey all bans on filming or photography, or risk having equipment confiscated and/or being arrested.

Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) continue to be reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Most cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia but other affected countries in the region include Jordan, Yemen, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Pilgrims travelling for the Hajj should pay particular attention to hygiene measures recommended by the WHO, such as frequent hand washing and avoiding close contact with animals and people who are suffering from acute respiratory infections. For further information on MERS-CoV, please refer to our MERS-CoV news bulletin

The Government of Saudi Arabia has announced that it will require travellers to have a quadrivalent Meningococcal vaccination in order to receive a Hajj visa. Further detail on this requirement and other health information for Hajj travel is available on the Ministry of Health's Hajj information page. The United Kingdom’s Fit for Travel Hajj information page and the Saudi Ministry of Health Hajj health tips page may also be useful. Some travellers also need to show proof of yellow fever or polio vaccination. If you plan on travelling for the Hajj, double-check with your doctor to find out if any vaccinations or other medical precautions are recommended or required. 

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is the Saudi government department with overall responsibility for managing the annual pilgrimage. The Ministry requires all Hajj pilgrims to use an approved tour company provider, so pilgrims should check with their tour company that they are actually registered and, if in doubt, call the Ministry’s call centre on +966-920002814 or visit the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah website. For further information, we recommend contacting the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Saudi Arabia. 

Consular assistance in Saudi Arabia is provided by the New Zealand Embassy, Riyadh:

New Zealand Embassy, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Street Address
Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Postal Address
PO Box 94 397, Riyadh 11693, Saudi Arabia
+966 11 488 7988 or +966 566 664 442 after-hours
+966 11 488 7911/12
Office Hours
Sun – Thurs 0900-1200, 1230-1500hrs

Associated Advisories:

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