Umrah pilgrims boarding the bus near King Faisal Mosque in Sharjah. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: If you are thinking of planning a trip to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, you may have some questions on your mind – what is the best way to travel – by air or by road? How long will the visa process take? And, how much will the hotel bookings cost?

In an educational post on its social media accounts, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah informed people of the steps they need to follow to visit Makkah and perform Umrah.

Here are the details:

Step 1: Booking an Umrah package through the Nusuk platform or a licensed Umrah company

• Visit the website – – and select the ‘Book your packages’ option.
• The website will then direct you to a page where you can select the type of package you want – economy, basic or VIP – and the number of nights for your Umrah trip.
• Once you make your selection, the website will then show you all the options available from licensed Umrah companies, with each provider’s package details. These details include whether or not an agent from the company will receive you at the airport, whether visa is included in the package and the cost of the package. You can also find the company’s contact details, if you wish to reach out to them directly.

You can also visit the website of registered Umrah service providers to book your itinerary. The registered service providers are also listed on the same page.

To find out more about how the Nusuk platform helps pilgrims have an easy experience, read our guide here.

Step 2: Apply for your visa

If you do not have the visa included in the booking made in Step 1, here are all the options available to you, according to MOHU:

- Family visit visa, provided by a relative who is living in Saudi Arabia.
- Personal visit visa provided by a Saudi citizen.
- Electronic visa on arrival for nationals of 49 countries.
- Tourist visa for foreign nationals residing in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
- Visa issued through Saudi embassies abroad.
- Stopover visa booked through Saudi Arabian carriers.
- Electronic visa upon arrival for holders of a British, US or Schengen visa.

“In a nutshell, every visa that allows you to fly into Saudi Arabia will permit you to perform Umrah,” the Ministry stated in its video.

To know more about all the types of visa options available to you, if you wish to visit Saudi Arabia, read our detailed guide here.

Also read:

Once you are in Saudi Arabia, make sure you have these apps on your phone, as they help visitors reach out to the necessary government departments in case they need help, and also plan their journey more easily.

If you wish to get a local SIM card to avoid roaming charges, here is a guide on all the documents you will need and the procedure to apply. You may also want to know if you can rent a car in Saudi Arabia to move around more easily. To find out more about the requirements visitors to the country need to fulfil, in order to drive in Saudi Arabia, click here.