Umrah travel in an unfamiliar country can sometimes be stressful if you are unprepared or not fully aware of what is required from you as a traveller. And while making your way with your pilgrimage group can be a source of comfort and support, dealing with queues, checks, and the potential of a language-barrier can cause difficulties.
So, here is our guide to what you - and your pilgrimage group - can expect upon your arrival at Jeddah Airport.
What is waiting for me?
Jeddah’s airport is made up from three distinct terminals: North, South, and Hajj. Upon landing, you will be brought through to the airport’s Hajj terminal, which is semi-open and designed to have a cavernous structure. This air-conditioned area contains customs and baggage handling.
In an ideal situation, you will want to get through Jeddah airport as quickly as possible as it is known throughout the world as being difficult for pilgrims to navigate. This is due in part to long wait times, restricted seating during the peak Hajj period, and issues around high degree of footfall relative to the numbers of active staff.
Despite a redeveloped terminal soft-launching in mid 2018, it’s worth planning for an extended wait and disruptions to your journey. This means ensuring that your group finds comfortable seats, has access to water, but is fully ready to give your space up for pilgrims that may in better need of it.
Queues will likely to be long and disorganised, which means that keeping your group together and calmly waiting your turn is the best choice – and being patient with other travellers.
Once you have left
The airport terminal will be packed at the best of times, and making your way from the airport to your accommodation can be difficult. It is strongly recommended that you book your travel well in advance, and many agents will be able to arrange air-conditioned travel and transport for your group. If you do experience issues sourcing your transport, a service like Uber can be used to find reliable taxis and use your existing account.