Public Health Agency of Canada – Hajj Pilgrimage Advisory

Public Health Agency of Canada – Hajj Pilgrimage Advisory

Canada’s recent travel advisory regarding Saudi Arabia provides specific details regarding regional risks and security concerns that Canadian travelers should be aware of. With a focus on areas near the border with Yemen, Abha International Airport, and Al Qatif and its suburbs, the advisory aims to ensure the safety and well-being of Canadians traveling to Saudi Arabia. Let’s delve into the specifics of these regional risks and recommended safety measures.

Border with Yemen: Avoid All Travel

The advisory urges Canadians to avoid all travel to areas within 80 km of the border with Yemen. This recommendation is based on the ongoing threat of rocket, missile, and mortar attacks targeting Saudi population centers near the border. The conflict and instability in Yemen have spilled over into border regions, posing significant risks to travelers in the vicinity.

Abha International Airport: Avoid Non-Essential Travel

Non-essential travel to Abha International Airport, located in Asir Province, is discouraged due to the risk of missile and drone attacks. Recent incidents have highlighted the vulnerability of the airport to such attacks, prompting caution among travelers considering visits to this region. Heightened security measures may be in place, but the risk remains a concern for those traveling to or through the airport.

Al Qatif and Its Suburbs: Avoid Non-Essential Travel

The advisory also advises against non-essential travel to Al Qatif and its surrounding suburbs, such as Al Awamiya, in Eastern Province. Tensions between Saudi security forces and local militants have resulted in sporadic unrest and security incidents in this area. Travelers are urged to exercise caution and avoid unnecessary risks when considering travel to these regions.

Recommended Safety Measures

In light of these regional risks, Canadian travelers to Saudi Arabia are advised to take the following safety measures:

  • Stay Informed: Keep abreast of the latest developments and updates regarding security conditions in Saudi Arabia, particularly in high-risk regions mentioned in the advisory.
  • Exercise Caution: Exercise vigilance and situational awareness at all times, especially in areas prone to security threats or unrest.
  • Adhere to Travel Restrictions: Respect travel restrictions outlined in the advisory, including avoiding travel to high-risk areas and adhering to any security measures implemented at airports or other transportation hubs.
  • Register with the Embassy: Canadian citizens traveling to Saudi Arabia should register with the Canadian embassy or consulate to receive important updates and assistance if needed.

For a comprehensive travel health consultation, visit the Destinations Travel Clinic. We offer expert guidance and assistance for all your questions and travel needs, including vaccinations, health precautions, and medical advice tailored to your destination.

For more information, travelers can refer to the Canadian Government’s official travel advisory for Saudi Arabia: Canadian Government Travel Advisory.

Additionally, for health requirements and recommendations for travelers to Saudi Arabia, especially for Hajj and Umrah, it is advisable to consult the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health’s website: Health Requirements and Recommendations for Travellers to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Umrah. This resource offers valuable insights into health-related considerations for travelers to Saudi Arabia, ensuring a safe and healthy journey.


Canada’s detailed travel advisory to Saudi Arabia underscores the importance of understanding and mitigating regional risks when traveling abroad. By staying informed, exercising caution, and adhering to recommended safety measures, Canadian travelers can minimize potential risks and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in Saudi Arabia. As always, prioritizing personal safety and well-being remains paramount when exploring unfamiliar destinations, particularly those with heightened security concerns.