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My Experience Performing Umrah On a Tourist Visa 2020

By far, one of the most frequently asked questions is about whether it is OK performing Umrah on a Saudi tourist visa. 

We have had thousands of people actually go for Umrah using the new tourist visa for Saudi Arabia. Still, I know that many of you want the first-hand experience I had with it. 

First, make sure you read about the Saudi tourist visa here

Under the visa rules, you are ALLOWED to perform Umrah, even though at the beginning, many agents were scaring people off that this was not possible. 

There are many scam looking sites that charge you extra fees for the tourist visa, be careful. 

The official website is: visitsaudi.com 

I issued all our visas without a problem, and even now in February 2020, I issued my mum’s visa in less than 5 minutes. Our tourist visa blog post has a step by step guide and a lot of information and experiences from people. 

We performed Umrah end of December 2019 and January 2020. 

Performing Umrah on a toursit visa resized

Very busy tawaf

Arrival at Jeddah airport 

We flew in from Doha, so as we are still under blockade we actually went via Kuwait, we did a transfer and went into our flight to Jeddah. 

Arriving at Jeddah airport, we queued at immigration for those coming under Umrah. 

On our visa, I had ticked all the boxes, including Umrah. Many other people who have successfully entered have only ticked Umrah as well, so this doesn’t play a role. They most likely want to collect the data for their tourism purposes. 

We arrived in the North terminal, which is where all non-Saudi international flights arrive. Jeddah has a new airport ( which is also where the train station is), but for now, it is available only on Saudia flights. This will hopefully change in a couple of months (Q2 2020). 

We waited at immigration for around 20 minutes as they were a little understaffed, but once we approached, we had no issue. The lady on the counter took our visa print out and typed all the details. 

Her English was not very good, but she was lovely, and she knew what to do. She said the visa was popular. 

She took our fingerprints and photo, and after about 10minutes we were done. She gave us our visa copy back and the slip for exiting ( they give you a slip you have to give to the officer at exiting the immigration) and we left. 

Once we exited our bags were waiting for us to be picked up. I think because we flew from Kuwait, most of the people going for Umrah were GCC, so they don’t need a visa and were processed faster. 

Also, it is important to note that my husband was wearing Ihram. 

Therefore we entered Saudi Arabia with an ihram to perform Umrah on a tourist visa without any issue. 

Once you exit the airport, you will find a taxi stand opposite which you can negotiate the price (approximately 150SAR), or you can order an Uber / Careem. 

Check out our transport guide here.

I still feel that especially with a baby Medinah is a better choice of airport for arrival.

Me on Umrah while on toursit visa in Saudi resized

Me at the Kabah, it was busy but the best time is after 9pm.

Arriving in Makkah 

We arrived with our six-month-old baby in the hotel to check-in without a problem. 

I am not sure if they asked us for a copy of our visas, but I would recommend you do have them. They did ask us when we checked into our hotel in Jeddah. 

I enjoyed also visiting Jeddah as it gives you a different perspective of the country than just going for Umrah to Makkah and Medinah. It was a nice city to explore, and I highly recommend it. It also breaks the trip. 

I was also surprised at the excellent customer service we received from Saudis. A lot of the hospitality jobs have been made available to Saudis, so it’s nice to see the changes. 

Intercontinental Jeddah Jan 2020

Intercontinental Jeddah while on our tourist visa

Vaccinations

This is a frequently asked question about whether we need vaccines on a tourist visa. As  I have mentioned in the previous posts vaccination is not required on the tourist visa, it is however on the Umrah visa. 

Now, personally we had the vaccinations from our previous Umrah which were still valid but I would have done them again. These days with all the viruses around and with the melting pot on Makkah I rather be safe than sorry, hence I recommend to always have an up to date immunisation.   

Overall performing Umrah on a tourist visa is easy and hassle-free. The immigration officials are used to people in Ihram on a tourist visa, and the process now is smooth. 

Saudi is trying really hard to promote tourism in the country, so I expect some positive changes to come from the whole process. 

You are allowed performing Umrah on a tourist visa even after Ramadan. For 2020 Umrah season you can perform Umrah on a tourist visa until 20th June and after the Hajj season on 18th September again. 

This means that you will have a chance for cheaper hotels near the Haram if you go after Ramadan. 

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Adam

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

First of all thank you very much for the detailed information. Your guide has truly helped me. I have booked a ticket for Umrah just recently. I am planning to go in a week time. I will arrive at Jeddah airport and hence will need to wear Ihram at the departing airport. I have everything sorted out except the meningococcal vaccine, which I haven't received. I am going on a tourist visa btw, do you think at immigration they will ask for my meningococcal vaccine status? I am just paranoid if I should change my flight to Madinah and change all my hotel reservations with it too.

Muslim Travel Girl

Sunday 24th of October 2021

It is not compulsory to have the vaccine on tourist visa

My Experience Performing Umrah On a Tourist Visa 2020 - نکس موزیک 98

Friday 10th of September 2021

[…] منبع:https://muslimtravelgirl.com/ […]

Djamila Iro

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

Asalam aleikum.

Thank you for such great work covering specifics for Umrah under tourist visa. At this point in time 08/18/21 is it possible to perform Umrah on their own without using any agency as before?

Mohammed Malik

Friday 23rd of October 2020

Dear sister, Can we open a bank account in Saudi Arabian Bank .send money in the account from UK when the rates good and pay the hotel when we check in there , rather than cash with you.

Muslim Travel Girl

Saturday 24th of October 2020

No, you cannot open a bank account in Saudi for this purpose. What you can do is look into the Revolut or Transferwise card which saves you money on the foreign exchange fee you will pay or you can prepare your hotel online before going in £ to avoid this.

Ali

Saturday 12th of September 2020

Highly appreciated your work, on the Umrah, gave me some some strength to fly Solo Umra again... Fingers crossed Jazakallah.