ATOL (Air Travel Organiser's License)
This is a UK government backed authority that ensures you don’t lose money or become stranded abroad if something happens to the travel agent.
ABTA (Organisation of British Travel Agents)
Travelling with a travel agent under this scheme protects you in the event of disputes between yourself and the travel agent. They also offer travel advice. Their help is not just limited to flights as is the case for ATOL.
Ministry of Hajj and Umra
This is a department of government in Saudi Arabia which regulates and manages Hajj and Umrah and issues pilgrim visas. Every UK Hajj and Umrah travel agent must be registered with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in order to be granted any Hajj visas on application.
IATA (International Air Transport Association)
If your tour operator is IATA accredited, it means they’re able to sell tickets directly on behalf of airlines.
Hajji (pl. Hujjaj)
Someone who is on or has been on Hajj.
Shifting (applies to Hajj only)
This is where you’re moved from your Makkah hotel (which is typically near Masjid Al-Haram) to alternative accommodation (usually in an area called Aziziyah) a few days before and after the days of Hajj.
Draft simply means transport. When a Hajj provider says they include “Hajj Draft”, they mean they will organise transport for you. Typically this is: Makkah to Madinah coaches (and vice versa), Jeddah to Makkah coaches (and vice versa) and coach/train transport during days of Hajj (where applicable).
This is the boundary before which you must recite your intention for Umrah.
A neighbourhood in Makkah between Masjid Al-Haram and Mina. This is where a lot of the hujjaj stay around the days of Hajj in apartment buildings.
Arafah / Arafat
An area in Makkah where you will go on the day of Hajj (9th Dhul-Hijjah on the Islamic calendar).
An area in Makkah you go to on the night of Hajj (9th Dhul-Hijjah) after spending the day in Arafah.
An area in Makkah with tent accommodation where you will stay during the days and nights of Hajj except the day of Arafah (where you’d spend the day in Arafah and the night in Muzdalifah).
Jamarah / Jamarat
Three large pillars located in Mina which are stoned as part of the rites of Hajj.
Qurbani / Udhiyah
The animal sacrificed as part of the rites of Hajj. Your group leader will likely manage this for you at an extra cost (typically over £100).
These are tours of other significant sites in the life of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in Makkah and Madinah. Typically a Hajj package includes sightseeing of: Mount Uhud, Masjid Qiblatain, Masjid Quba and Baqi al-Gharqad (also known as Jannat al-Baqi).
This is an event that is arranged by the provider before the group leaves for Hajj. Typically Hajj providers cover the following during the seminar: Travel tips and advice, basic rites of Hajj, questions from the travelling group, organisational and group information and itinerary.
This is the state and clothing for Hajj and Umrah. For men, it is two white clothes and they must wear nothing else. For women, it is any clothing fitting with Islamic guidelines.
This is when you circumambulate (walk around in a circle) the Kaaba 7 times.
This is when you walk between the hills of Safa and Marwa 7 times.