A pilgrim at Hajj Image Credit: Wikimedia

Dubai: If you are planning to visit Saudi Arabia soon, for Umrah or to perform Hajj later this year, make sure that you follow all the necessary precautions when it comes to managing your money. The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah (MoHU) took to its official Twitter account on March 26, to inform visitors on the different rules and regulations that are in place to protect visitors.

The Ministry posted an education video in the tweet, and said: “Before you embark on your Umrah journey, learn more about managing your financial transactions and customs declaration in accordance with all the relevant rules and regulations.”

Here are 9 rules you should follow:

1. Avoid carrying excess cash

“Hajj pilgrims, Umrah pilgrims and visitors – to facilitate your visit and stay, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah made sure that all costs were paid [for] before your arrival, so avoid carrying any unnecessary cash,” the video stated.

This includes carrying other items of value, like precious metals, gemstones or gold bullion, or items exceeding the value of Saudi Riyal 60,000 (Dh58,669).

2. Declare customs, if needed

It is compulsory for travellers to make a customs declaration, in case they have any currency, monetary instruments, gold bullions or precious metals, precious stones, fine jewellery valued at Saudi Riyal‏ 60,000 or more.

This is in accordance with the provisions of Article 23 of the Anti-Money Laundering Law issued by Royal Decree (M/20) dated 5/2/1439 H. Also, goods which are subject to prohibition, restriction or taxes and fees, shall be disclosed, in accordance with the provisions of Article 60 of the Common Customs Law ratified by Royal Decree (M/41) dated 3/11/1423.

If necessary, disclose it upon arrival or departure through the specified declaration forms to avoid legal accountability or paying a fine.

You can submit an electronic declaration form by visiting this link: https://e-services.zatca.gov.sa/en/declare

3. Use licensed money exchange centres only

"Please visit banks and licensed exchanged centres when you transfer your surplus money to the currency of your country, when you need an exchange centre or when you receive any money," the advisory video stated.

4. When conducting any financial transactions, keep the receipts to secure your rights.

5. Use cashless payment methods as much as possible

According to the advisory, people do not really need to carry cash, as electronic payment methods have been approved in Saudi Arabia through all international credit cards.

6. Do not disclose personal data

"To avoid fraud, please follow the instructions issued by the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia such as not disclosing any confidential and personal information related to the bank card to anyone or any entity," the Ministry said.

7. Don't click on unverified payment links

The Ministry also advised visitors to avoid transferring any sums of money to unknown sources and check electronic links carefully before paying.

8. File a complaint in case of fraud

According to the advisory, if you do end up being a victim of a case of fraud, you should first report it to the bank immediately and then to the authorities in charge. You can file a complaint online with the Saudi Central Bank here: https://www.my.gov.sa/wps/portal/snp/servicesDirectory/servicedetails/7453/!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zivQIsTAwdDQz9LQwNzQwCnS0tXPwMvYwN3A30g1Pz9L30o_ArAppiVOTr7JuuH1WQWJKhm5mXlq8fYW5iaqxfkO0eDgCtqo3n/#:~:text=Visit%20the%20Saudi%20Central%20Bank,complaints%20in%20list%20(B).

9. Report fraudulent messages to 330330

If you receive fraudulent messages, resend the text message to 330330, if you are using a Saudi SIM car. This is the official SMS number using which you can report fraudulent messages to the Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC)

If you do not have a Saudi SIM card, you can file the complaint online here: https://www.cst.gov.sa/en/services/complaints/Pages/default.aspx