Ruling on Zamzam water from Saudi Arabia Airports l Which Saudi airports allow Zamzam water?

Representing the mercy of Allah SWT, the well of Zamzam is one of the most fascinating and everlasting miracles in Islam. The story behind the spring of Zamzam is linked to Prophet Ibrahim (AS), Prophet Ismail (AS), and Hajra (RA).

bringing back bottled water from saudi airportsThe holy well is located within Masjid al-Haram in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Pilgrims from all over the world and residents of Saudi Arabia use Zamzam water to cleanse themselves. Being able to access Zamzam water and bring it back with them is one of the best parts for pilgrims on Hajj or Umrah. However, a shocking announcement by the Saudi Government changed everything. 

On Saturday, 31st December 2022, Saudi Arabia announced new restrictions on carrying Zamzam water out of the country. As stated by the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), foreign pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia to perform pilgrimage (Umrah or Hajj) wish to carry Zamzam water before departing from the country to present the holy water as a gift to their friends and relatives in the homeland.

While it wasn’t much of a problem in the past, per the recent regulations of the Saudi authorities, pilgrims are not allowed to carry more than five litres of Zamzam water (one Zamzam package) while departing the country for their home. 

In this article, we will be telling you everything you need to know about bringing Zamzam water from Saudi airports. Keep reading to learn whether Saudi airports allow travelling with Zamzam water or not.

Taking Zamzam Water from Jeddah Airport

Pilgrims travelling from the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, can carry Zamzam water to their hometown. However, to make sure that there is no hassle in the clearance process at the Jeddah airport, you must abide by the following rules and regulations: 

  • The Zamzam water bottle that you are carrying should not be manually filled.
  • The Zamzam water bottle should be packed by the licensed Zamzam water factory. You can easily purchase the authentic Zamzam water bottle from the airport or any grocery store in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). 
  • The Zamzam water bottle should have a plastic seal. The Saudi Government has banned carrying unsealed Zamzam water bottles from all airports. 
  • You are not allowed to carry Zamzam water bottles inside the checked-in luggage or as a hand-carry in the airplane. A separate path is allocated at the Saudi airports to provide clearance for the Zamzam water bottles. 

Note: You can transport Zamzam water from all terminals of the King Abdulaziz International Airport except for Terminal 01. 

How Much Zamzam Water Can I Bring Back?

You can bring back one 5-litre bottle of Zamzam water as a part of your free-of-cost checked-in baggage. However, note that only people with Umrah or Hajj visas are permitted to take Zamzam water with them. 

Taking Zamzam Water from Medina Airport

airplane on the tarmac of Saudi Arabia airportsEvery international visitor is permitted to carry five litres of Zamzam water at no additional cost from the Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah. The traveller can easily purchase a seal-packed Zamzam water bottle from the authorised vendors at the Madinah airport.

If not, the visitors must make sure that the Zamzam water bottle is properly sealed and carried alongside their luggage and not within the checked baggage. 

Taking Zamzam Water from Riyadh Airport

Riyadh is one of the most famous cities in Saudi Arabia. Visitors can buy Zamzam water from several places in the city of Riyadh, including Lulu Hypermarket, Hyper Panda, Abdullah Al Othaim, Third Jawahir School, and Riyadh Airport (RUH).

The flights that can carry Zamzam water bottles from Riyadh Airport include Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Emirates Airlines, Air India, PIA, FlyaDeal, FlyNas, and Saudi Airlines. 

People travelling on Umrah or Hajj visas are provided the facility to carry one large five-litre water bottle from Riyadh Airport to their country. This means that other passengers travelling on a business visa, visit visa, or for any other purpose are not permitted to take Zamzam water with them.

Even pilgrims are allowed to take only the water bottles produced under the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Zamzam Water Project. 

Taking Zamzam Water from Dammam Airport

All airlines, including Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Emirates Airlines, Air India, PIA, FlyaDeal, FlyNas, and Saudi Airlines, are allowed to transport Zamzam water. In order to avoid inconvenience, the passengers must make sure that they are travelling with a Hajj or Umrah visa and that they are taking only one 5-litre Zamzam water bottle home.

As stated in several instances above, the Zamzam water bottle must be covered by a plastic seal and must be filled by a licensed authority. 

Can I Bring Back Zamzam Water on a Tourist Visa?

According to the policies of the Saudi authorities, only Hajj or Umrah passengers are allowed to carry only one 5-litre Zamzam water bottle. Thus, people on tourist visas are not allowed to bring back Zamzam water to their homeland under any circumstances. 

Can I Take Zamzam Water Inside My Luggage?

luggage suitcase carrying zamzam waterThe Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has strictly prohibited all private aviation and commercial Saudi airlines from transporting any liquids, including Zamzam water, from Saudi airports inside the checked-in luggage.

In light of the circular, the Official Saudi Press Agency said, “Non-compliance with the GACA circulars is considered a clear violation of the government orders, and legal measures will be taken against the violator who will be held accountable for the result.” 

However, if you are travelling from Madinah, Jeddah, Riyadh, or Dammam, according to Saudi laws, you are allowed to carry up to 5-litres of Zamzam water as checked baggage for free of cost. In order to avoid problems at the airport, make sure that all bottles of Zamzam water are sealed and safely packed in accordance with the government’s packing guidelines.

Note that the condition only applies to Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, as carrying Zamzam water is banned for international visitors.  

Summary – Zamzam Water from Saudi Airports

While travelling back to their home country, pilgrims are now permitted to carry only one bottle of Zamzam water with them. The bottle must comprise five litres of water, must be bought from a licensed manufacturer, must be sealed, and shouldn’t be in checked-in baggage.

Furthermore, only foreign visitors with a Hajj or Umrah visa departing from Medinah, Riyadh, Dammam, or Jeddah airports can carry Zamzam water with them. Make sure that you do not purchase Zamzam water from local vendors, as they sometimes sell an impure version of the holy water, which is illegal in Saudi Arabia. 

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