Following the anticipated resumption of Umrah for external pilgrims, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) hereby calls on intending Umrah pilgrims and respective Licenced Tour Operators to take note of regulations laid down by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for successful participation in the season.

In a set of guidelines for participation in the 2021/2022 Umrah exercise, it was clarified that the document is subject to periodic review based on emerging developments during the season.

Nevertheless, screening of external companies that will participate in the Umrah exercise and issuance of Umrah visas are slated to commence from 15th Dhul Hijja, equivalent to 25th July 2021. External Umrah pilgrims are expected to start arriving into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) from 9th of August 2021.

NAHCON hereby enjoins licensed Umrah operators and the pilgrims to be abreast with the Saudi Arabian regulations and guidelines for the performance of the pilgrimage especially with regards to precautionary measures detailed to prevent the spread of the corona disease.

As in previous arrangements under the Covid-19 pandemic, pilgrims are to travel in groups to be conveyed by authorized Tour Operators. In particular, Umrah pilgrims that should be from age 18 and above must ensure that they complete the doses of the corona vaccine and attach the certificate of immunization in their request for Umrah permit. The vaccine type should be in consonance with the KSA approved protocol.

Intending Umrah pilgrims are advised to get acquainted with the Eatmarna app as a prerequisite for applying and gaining entrance into the two Holy Mosques for Umrah, for salat and for visit to the Prophet (SAW)’s Raudha. Note that all Umrah activities (and ziyara into the raudha in Madinah-if it is part of the package applied for) will be coordinated based on reservations obtained on behalf of the pilgrims by accredited tour operator.

Intending pilgrims are also advised to visit a standard health facility in their country to verify their health status before requesting for the Umrah visa.

Tour Operators are to note that they have a responsibility to their clients and the KSA to safeguard their interests and honour their terms of engagement. These terms of engagement are as contained in the document signed by Secretary for Umrah Affairs, Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahim Wazzan on guidelines for Umrah pilgrims and visitors to the Prophet’s mosque coming from outside the KSA for the 1443 AH season which is available on the ministry’s portal (https//www.haj.gov.sa).

NAHCON enjoins Nigerian Umrah pilgrims and licenced Tour Operator to be good ambassadors of the country and kindly avoid indulging in any act that is capable of causing any form of embarrassment to the nation. In case of breach of contract agreement, NAHCON’s doors are open to receive complaints from any aggrieved party.

The Commission wishes all Umrah participants a blissful and blessed Umrah exercise.

Fatima Sanda Usara,

Head, Public Affairs,

NAHCON,

For: Chairman/CEO