UAE: Preparing for Haj pilgrimage? Essential packing, vaccination list for travellers

Residents are urged to keep detailed medical reports, maintain healthy diet and physical fitness


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Published: Mon 10 Jun 2024, 11:44 AM

Last updated: Tue 11 Jun 2024, 1:39 PM

Saudi Arabia has announced that Haj this year will start on June 14. The Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam and must be undertaken at least once by all Muslims with the means. It involves a series of rituals completed over at least four days in Makkah and its surroundings in the west of Saudi Arabia.

Along with booking flights, arranging accommodations, managing Haj permit and tour packages from approved operators, pilgrims should prepare themselves physically and mentally before the journey.

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Saudi Arabia has warned visitors to expect intense summer temperatures of 44℃ during the Haj, which last year saw thousands of cases of heat stress. UAE's ministry of health has asked residents embarking on this sacred pilgrimage to keep some essentials handy.

Pilgrims should get a personal bag ready before travelling and ensure:

  • Pack a comprehensive medical kit containing hand sanitiser, wound care supplies, fever and pain relief medication, moisturisers, burn and allergy creams, masks, tissues, scissors, and nail clippers
  • Personal items like toiletries, a handheld fan, an insulated metal water bottle, and a light-coloured sun umbrella are also vital to cope with the demanding conditions

Pilgrims are advised to ensure health stability through a doctor's consultation, especially for chronic diseases. Residents are also urged to keep a detailed medical report and maintain a healthy diet. Enhancing physical fitness at least three weeks before travel will help them manage fatigue and other health concerns.

Getting vaccinated before Haj is crucial to protect travellers from infectious diseases. It's recommended to get vaccinated at least 15 days before travel date so that the body gets enough time to develop protective antibodies.

All those performing Haj this year, are required to take the following vaccines:

  • Meningococcal vaccine
  • Seasonal influenza vaccine
  • If you are 65 years or more, you are required to take the pneumococcal vaccine
  • If you are 19 years or above with a chronic disease, it is required to take the pneumococcal vaccine too

All Haj vaccines are provided for UAE pilgrims in health centres under Emirates Health Services.


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