Previously, it wasn’t permissible for women to travel for Umrah alone. If a female pilgrim wanted to intend for the holy rituals through Umrah packages from London or any other city, she was required to obtain a company of a male Mahram along. Otherwise, umrah visa wasn’t issued for her.
Who is Mahram for a woman?
For a woman, her Mahram is the person with whom marriage is haram. Such as;
1. Her Parents.
2. Her Grandparent.
3. Other ancestors.
5. Sibling of ancestors.
6. Maternal or paternal uncles.
8. Grandchild of siblings.
9. The husband of a woman is also a legal Mahram for her.
So, to obtain an Umrah visa, a woman had to submit proof of Mahram relation with the person she was traveling with.
Amendments made under the Saudi Vision 2030 plan.
Since the time the kingdom introduced its Saudi Vision 2030 plan, to boost tourism and economic infrastructure in the country; the policies of Hajj and Umrah were also revised. As per the new rules imposed by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for women is that they are now permitted to travel alone for Umrah.
In other words, under the Saudi Vision 2030 plan, female pilgrims can travel alone for Umrah without the company of male mahram. They are allowed entry to the kingdom, can perform Umrah rituals on their own, and engage in other religious/pilgrimage activities while in the kingdom.
Yet, one should know that there are specific regulations and requirements for such women traveling without a Mahram for the Umrah rituals. They can change varying on the subject matter and the MoHU policies. So, prior to your departure, it is advised to confirm the latest rules and regulations regarding December umrah packages 2023 for women without a mahram to avoid any hassle later.
The minimum age requirement for female pilgrims traveling alone for Umrah rituals is 25 years old.
Such women may or may not be required to travel in organized groups led by a female imam (guide).
The documentation procedure for female pilgrims traveling for Umrah without a mahram is the same to men. Such as;
1. Valid passport.
2. Visa application form.
3. Proof of prebooked flights and accommodation.
4. Health insurance.
5. Travel itinerary.
6. Latest passport-sized photographs.
7. Vaccination certificates.
However, an additional requirement is a NOC (No Objection Certificate) issued by her family/husband, stating their consent for her travel alone.
Women must make sure that their accommodation is arranged for at the designated places for female pilgrims i.e., separate from men.
The same goes for transportation arrangements, as they must be separate from men while also ensuring reliability, security, privacy, and comfort for women traveling alone.
Adhering to Islamic Guidelines.
It is especially advised for female pilgrims to dress modestly in the kingdom.
The code of consult should be in accordance with the local laws.
Women must limit their interaction with the opposite gender until it’s really necessary.
Female pilgrims should offer their prayers in the segregated areas within Haramain.
Such women traveling alone for Umrah must try not to draw the attention of Na-Mahram men by beautifying themselves, wearing perfume, or conversating unnecessarily.
A safe distance must be maintained at all times from fellow male pilgrims. Especially while offering Tawaf and Sayee rituals.
Women should not recite Talbiyah loudly as men do.
Raml is also not necessary for female pilgrims.
So, these are the necessary guidelines to know for Umrah travel without a male mahram for a woman.