We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah

Which Jeddah hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
London, United...
posts: 7
Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah

Hi,

I am travelling with my family for Umrah 23rd May. I wanted to get an idea as to how long it takes to clear Immigration and customs at Jeddah Airport. My flight lands at Jeddah at 4.35am and I want to book an internal flight to Madinah but cannot decide on the times for the internal flight. The first internal flight to Madinah is at 6.30am and the second one at 9.30am. Also any advice as to how long it takes to get to the Domestic airport and the what the taxi fare is.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

JazakAllah khair

14 replies to this topic
Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,213
reviews: 263
1. Re: Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah

First, there are two terminals in Jeddah: South (Saudia and Nasr) and North (the other airlines - so it is not about international or domestic although all domestic flights will leave from South terminal since this is where the Saudi airlines are). Where will you arrive? If North, then you'll have to collect your luggage, take a cab and go for a long way to the South terminal, both being separated by the runways.

I never arrived from abroad on South terminal, so can only comment on North's. There, immigration is a lottery game! If you get in after a B747 from Pakistan for instance, then it can take up to one hour or more. But if there is no flight ahead of you, then it can be faster... So, bottom line, if on different airlines, I would certainly not try my luck with the 6:30 flight and select the 9:30 one. If however both flights are on Saudia, you should contact the airline to try to add to the current booking the connecting flight.

London, United...
posts: 735
reviews: 33
2. Re: Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah

Concur with the above post, a lot depends which terminal you're arriving at or departing from. You can always go to Madinah by road. This question was raised a couple of weeks ago here, just scroll down the various threads. Going by road would cut out a lot of stress of trying to get from one terminal to another. Assuming an uneventful journey through immigration & customs, you could expect to be in Madinah by about 9am if you took a taxi instead of flying. It'd also be a lot cheaper too.

London, United...
posts: 7
3. Re: Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah

Thank you very much for the kind advice. This will be the first time I visit the Holy Land and wanted to prepare as much as possible.

I will be flying Royal Jordanian and therefore land in North Terminal. Its seems more sensible to opt for the 9.30am flight rather than 6.30am - although if Immigration and customs finish very quickly, I will then have a long wait for the 9.30am flight. My overriding reason for flying to Madinah is to get settled into hotel in time for Jum'aa. I am presuming Jum'aa will be around 1pm and I land in Madinah at 10.25am - this, I am hoping, will give me sufficient time to get to hotel and be ready for Jum'aa. Once I have finished in Madinah, I will be taking a taxi to Makkah

London, United...
posts: 7
4. Re: Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah

In relation to costs of travelling from Jeddah to Madinah, it seems by road and flying are more or less the same. I am told a taxi would cost around 500-600 SAR whereas a flight with 5 people costs 560 SAR.

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,213
reviews: 263
5. Re: Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah

Well beyond costs, timing counts. There are 400km between JED airport (located to the North of the city) and Madinah. As the_musafir suggests, you'd be there faster by car. And it would be less risky especially if your RJ flight is late...

London, United...
posts: 735
reviews: 33
6. Re: Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah

travellerz25,

you've now mentioned a tight time constraint ie. Juma in The Prohets mosque on the same day. In Saudi, Juma prayers are offered earlier than in other parts of the world. Some times of the year, it's even before 12noon. For the last half of May, it will probably be about 12.30pm the latest. Just do a search on the Internet to confirm the timings.

So, your flight arrives at 10 .30am in Madinah, you've got to get your luggage out, haggle for a taxi, get to the hotel, check in, fresh in up, maybe grab a bite to eat and then head to the mosque for Friday prayers. As you have never been to the 2 holy cities before, let me tell you that if you want to get a place inside either of the 2 holy mosques on friday before Juma prayers then you've got to be there by about 11am the latest..!! Otherwise you're gonna be outside in the courtyard in the heat. Very tough when you've just arrived from the UK. Ok, so the courtyard of the Prophet's mosque has these big automatic sunshades that protect from direct sunlight, but not from the heat. It's gonna be very hot there at the end of May.

Therefore taking the above into account, tbh I don't think you'll be able to make Juma if you take the 9.30 flight. If you do, it will be very rushed and uncomfortable.

Whereas my previous suggestion of a taxi straight from the airport, would ensure that you're checked into your hotel by 10am the latest, and so more able to get into the mosque and hence a more spiritual Juma prayer.

London, United...
posts: 7
7. Re: Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah

AA the_Musafir,

Many thanks for your kind advice. As explained in my previous threads the only reason I wanted to fly to Madinah was to get there in time Jum'aa. However, now that you have explained the difficulties, I may now take a car. Any advice as to how much i am likely to pay?

I am thinking of flying back to Jeddah from Madinah and then take a taxi or private car to Makkah. If i was to do that, would I need to put on my Ihram at Madinah Hotel and do the niyaa at the announcement of Meekat on the plane or on arrival to Jeddah go to Ayesha Masjid on the outskirts of Makkah to put on Ihram and Niyaa? Please let me know if flying altogether is a bad idea. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Edited: 7:09 pm, May 04, 2013
Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,213
reviews: 263
8. Re: Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah

Not being a Muslim, I will leave the Umrah topics on the side (although I see lots of people changing at JED airport to put on their Ihram).

Domestic flights are quite efficient in the Kingdom, and quite cheap. It is however important to book ASAP since planes are often full. So the decision to fly is rather a practical one. MED-JED will reduce a bit the travelling time although not significantly.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 84
reviews: 53
9. Re: Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah

Salam Travellerz25,

I just to wanted to share my experience recently when I visited Holy cities 3 weeks ago for Umrah in early May. It took me almost 2 hours to clear immigration (I landed at North terminal on Etihad) and there were only 2 immigration officers serving entire flight so as others mentioned you can never predict how long it will take to clear immigration and customs at Jeddah airport. You will find immigration services not as efficient as in UK as I have been to Jeddah many times and best I can say it is totally unpredictable so I strongly recommend don't try to take 630 am Domestic flight to Madinah.

I also agree with Musafir and Swissdiver re best of mode of travel from Jeddah to Madinah, If you are travelling with family and wish to try and get Jumah prayer than going via plane will be a tight call. It would be difficult to find space inside prophet's mosque after 1130 am, Duhr Prayer time on 24th May will be 12:19 pm in Madinah so you need to be inside Prophet's mosque by 1130 am if you want to avoid harsh summer heat outside. I can't see how you will manage and arrive at airport at 1025, get your baggage, get to your hotel and try checkin or leave luggage in lockers for later checkin. I also want to mention that normal check in time in Saudi Arabia is usually 2-3 pm after Duhr prayer unless you have negotiated early checkin. Unless you at true five hotel (like Oberoi or Hilton Madinah) other hotels check in process will also take some time so be prepared for that too. You may want to leave your bags at hotels and straight proceed for prayer if check is takes longer.

I suggest you take a taxi from Jeddah airport to Madinah,it will usually cost you 500-600 Saudi Riyals but sometimes you may be able to negotiate bit better. I too taxi Jeddah-Madinah last May and I paid SR400 but I think generally you will not be able to find anyone cheaper than SR500. If you are lucky and you clear immigration quickly than you will have good chance of getting Madinah before 11 am and hopefully will be able to make for Jumah inshallah. You can also inform taxi driver you need to be in Madinah for Jumah and hopefully he will take shorter break (usually fuel stop) mid way.

Regarding your query re return travel Madiah-Jeddah-Makkah for Umrah. If you are leaving Madinah in plane than you are best to have ihram put on before you board the plane as Mikaat is only 5-10 minutes after takeoff from Madinah. Once you land at Jeddah airport than taxis are available for SR200-250 (don't pay more than SR250 as this is not peak season). Total time (from Madinah city-airport-Jeddah-makkah hotel) will again going to be similar compared to taking a private airconditioned taxi direct from your hotel in Madinah to your hotel in Jeddah (cost approx. SR500-600) and perhaps less complicated as it is total 4 hours drive (very nice highway between Madinah and Makkah). Mikaat by road is just outside madinah city where you can take shower,ablution,prayer in a nice mosque at miqaat to put on ihram and pray. I again suggest avoiding Jeddah airport and all the traffic chaos in Jeddah (especially there is so much road work and new Haramain railway work going on roads close to airport now a days).

Best to take private taxi for both legs in my opinion.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

May Allah accept your Umrah and remember us in your prayers.

London, United...
posts: 735
reviews: 33
10. Re: Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah

Good advice from traveller123456 based on very recent experience. Wallahi, in your total itinerary flying internally makes no sense. You're actually creating more problems. You should try to simplify your visit instead of creating more arduous circumstances. I know you've probably heard horror stories about driving in Saudi. And I'll be the first to agree with them. But you'll have to travel in a cab sometimes.

As mentioned, you have to be in ihram just outside Madinah a place called Dhul Khalifah. Good changing facilities. But why not just get into ihram in the privacy of your hotel in Madinah before you check out? Then it's just foot down to Makkah. Absolute max about 3.5 hours door to door ie. hotel to hotel. Seriously, going to Makkah from Madinah by air via Jeddah just doesn't make sense.

Reply to: Clearing Customs & immigration in Jeddah
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted