Thursday, June 7, 2018

How to stay safe at this year's Hajj

Last year, a record one million, eight hundred thousand people arrived from across the world to experience the holy Muslim duty of Hajj, at the city of Mecca. On top of this, there were approximately another one million pilgrims who travelled from within Saudi Arabia; a total of nearly three million people. When you see the figures, it's easier to understand how, despite improved safety measures from the Saudi government, there continue to be deaths and injuries during the six day religious event.

There are a number of ways in which pilgrims travelling to the 2018 Hajj or Umrah 2018 with Best Packages can prepare for the pilgrimage and keep themselves safe whilst there. These tips cover both before and during Hajj, so ensure that all people hoping to complete the Hajj have completed all necessary actions.

Firstly, before you travel, ensure that all members of the travelling party have up to date travel inoculations. Each year, the Saudi government releases a list of travel vaccines which all pilgrims must have if they will be granted a Hajj or Umrah visa. The 2018 list included yellow fever, polio, influenza and meningitis – all nasty illnesses, so make sure that you're up to date with your jabs!

Once you have arrived at Mecca, ensure that you have plenty of clean water to drink and remember to eat as often as is necessary. This may sound obvious, but in recent years there has been a large number of Hajji's taken ill due to heat exhaustion, dehydration or fatigue. The only way to combat these things is to ensure you have enough water, rest if you start feeling weak or dizzy and stay out of the sun when possible.

The biggest risk when completing the Hajj is at the Jamarat Bridge area. There have been a number of stampedes and crushes in the past, but the Saudi government has improved facilities in the area. There are now more access-ways, footbridges and emergency exits; while crossing the bridge, keep on the lookout as to where the nearest exit would be. If the people around you do start pushing or jostling for room, remain calm, keep to the edge of the crowds and try and find the nearest exit. Keep hold of any young children or weak family members.

Finally, be careful during the stoning of the jamarat. With so many people who all wish to complete this part of their pilgrimage at the same time, there is a risk that flying stones may hit other hajjis. In order to minimise the chance of being hit by a stone, it may be worth throwing from the bridge level. On the final day of the Cheap Hajj Package 2019, try not to take your luggage with you to the jamarat; this decreases the amount of room there is for all pilgrims and will make it harder to get out of the crowd when you're looking to leave.

Whilst these are tips to keep protected at the 2018 Hajj Packages, if you keep calm and are sensible, the experience should be safe for everyone!

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