Qtech Software

Complete Guide - 

How to Start Your

Umrah Booking Service

For all Travel Consolidators, B2B Agents, 

B2C and Online Travel Agents who want to start 

their own Umrah Booking Service, globally. 

Complete Guide - How to Start Your Umrah Booking Service

For all Travel Consolidators, B2B Agents, B2C and Online Travel Agents who want to start their own Umrah Booking Service, globally. 

Who can apply for Hajj and Umrah License?

Hajj and Umrah Travel Software provider are of 2 types, which are call as Umrah Operator and External agents.

Umrah Operators (UO): Travel agencies, Travel Management Companies, Tour Operators and DMC operator who are based in Saudi Arabia can obtain the Hajj and Umrah License from Hajj & Umrah Ministry and become Umrah Operators. Every Umrah Operator is assigned a IBAN Number used to validate every booking.

External Agents (EA): Any Travel Consolidator, Wholesaler, Travel agency, tour operator and DMC operator who are outside Saudi Arabia and in any part of the world, can also apply for license for Hajj and Umrah. They need to register with an Umrah Operator (UO) to successfully start booking.

Every External Agent is like a Sub-Agent of an Umrah Operator.

What are the pre-requisites to obtain a Hajj & Umrah License:

For Hajj and Umrah booking there are basically to 2 types of Umrah Operator and External agents. The Ministry of Hajj & Umrah in Saudi Arabia is the sole authority for obtaining the license.

For Umrah Operators:

  • Every registered Travel Agent / Travel Company within Saudi Arabia must open a bank account with the Ministry approved bank. It will create your IBAN Number for all booking purposes going forward.
  • This account is further used for all payment purposes through net banking and payment gateways.
  • Every Agent is provided with a Google Authenticator access -  This real time passcode service enables the agent to authenticate the booking with an OTP

For External Agents: 

  • External Agents also need to open a bank account with a Ministry approved bank within Saudi Arabia or their local country. It will create your IBAN Number for all booking purposes going forward.
  • The bank account of External agents is tagged to their Umrah Operators under which they are registered.
  • External Agents have full control of the bank account without any dependency on the Umrah Operator.
  • Umrah Operator does not have any control of the bank account on External Agent.
  • This provision is made only to successfully tag all transactions under the right Umrah Operator and External Agents.
  • Every Agent is provided with a Google Authenticator access -  This real time passcode service enables the agent to authenticate the booking with an OTP

How Can Umrah Operators and External Agents make Hajj & Umrah bookings?

The booking process has been made completely online and easy for all agents and travel operators:

  • Upon successful registration, as an Umrah Operator and External Agents make Hajj & Umrah bookings on any approved OTA / B2B booking platform.
  • UO & EA should register on the Umrah booking platform with their IBAN and all requisite details.
  • Search and select the services they wish to book and proceed for booking
  • At the time of booking confirmation, the agent is required to authenticate the booking with the passcode from the Google Authenticator. (It is received on the registered mobile number and email) – this is linked to IBAN number
  • Once the booking is authenticated and vouchered, the system will provide a BRN (Booking reference Number)

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How can you start your own booking service for Hajj and Umrah?

If you are a registered Travel Agency within or outside Saudi Arabia, here are a few steps you need to follow to start your own booking platform for Umrah bookings

  • All registered Travel Agencies need to obtain approval to connect with the Maqam GDS (Central Reservation System) which is the sole GDS of all services required for Umrah
  • Every Travel Operator and Online Travel Agent must register their system on the Maqam website (https://maqam.gds.Hajj.gov.sa/)
  • Upon careful evaluation, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah will decide whether to provide access to the Maqam GDS
  • Once your application is approved, you need a Travel ERP Platform that provides the complete Umrah booking Software, which provides ready to deploy integrations with the GDS
  • Upon successful set-up of the Umrah Booking Platform, you can now announce your Umrah Booking Service
  • Umrah Operators and External Agents can register on your platform to successfully make Hajj and Umrah Booking

What are the services required to provide for Hajj and Umrah Booking?

The ministry has identified certain mandatory services for B2B and B2C Travel Operators to be included in the Hajj & Umrah booking solution. 

Primarily, there are two types of agents, B2B (Travel consolidators, Wholesalers and Travel Management Companies) and B2C (Online Travel Agencies)

In the B2B Module: 

  • Hotel Booking: Travel agents can book a hotel from 850+ housing service providers available in the system. Upon successful booking, the travel agent uses the BRN to proceed for Visa booking on the Ministry Visa portal.
  • Transportation Booking: B2B Travel agents can also book the Transportation for any Mutamer/ pilgrim. The transportation providers are available on any authorized OTA. They can generate the BRN number for Visa processing.

In the B2C Module:

When a Mutamer / Pilgrim is making the booking himself, there are 3 types of services, which he / she should book before proceeding for Visa Processing:

  • Hotel Booking: Works in a similar way as B2B Hotel booking. In this case the Mutamer is making the booking themselves to generate the BRN.
  • Transportation Booking: Mutamers / pilgrims can select the Transportation of their choice from all the available and approved providers on any Hajj & Umrah Booking platform.
  • Ground Services:  The service package for ground services like welcome at the hotel or any assistance are available for Mutamer’s to directly book on the B2C / OTA system. They can select the package of their choice and generate a BRN on successful booking.
  • E-Visa Application: The B2C system should be directly connected with the e-Visa system on the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah to automatically pass on the BRN with the Visa application of the Mutamer / Pilgrim.

In the B2C Module 3 Booking Reference Numbers (BRN) are generated for Hotel, Transportation and Ground Services each. All three BRN are mandatory for Visa processing.

What are the types of Integrations needed for Hajj and Umrah Booking Service?

Any Travel Agency, Consolidator, Wholesaler and Online Travel Agent who wants to start with their own booking service for Hajj & Umrah, needs to integrate their Hajj & Umrah Booking Software with the Maqam GDS. (Central Reservation System). All the following types of integrations are available within the Maqam GDS:

Integration with Approved Hotel Suppliers: 

  • The Ministry of Hajj & Umrah has approved the following Suppliers as authorized Housing distributors: CRS, Agoda & Umrah Holidays. 
  • Any Umrah Booking Solution should be able to readily integrate with these suppliers and provides a real-time feed of all the housing services providers.
  • The integration should also be able to successfully book from the available choices.
  • The suppliers provide data of more than 850+ housing providers in the region and is monitored and authorized by the government only

Integration with Transportation Suppliers: 

  • Naqaba is the approved supplier of transportation for all & Umrah systems and is available in the GDS / CRS.
  • Any Umrah Booking Software should be able to easily integrate with the feed, provide all available options and successfully make a booking.
  • There are more than 90 Transportation companies who are registered with Naqaba and available for booking through this integration
  • It should fulfil the Transportation requirement for all B2B as well as B2C providers.

For Umrah mutamers / pilgrims have to land in Jeddah and acquire a transport to Umrah, there are lot of places around the holy city of Mecca and Jeddah that tourist do visit. Some people prefer going to Medina and then travel to Mecca for Umrah

Integration with Suppliers of Ground Services: 

When any Mutamer / pilgrim arrive for Umrah they are short on time and to ensure the best utility of their time, they are facilitated by ground services like welcome at hotel, guide services ,instant solution for complaints, inquiring about the nearby places etc

To facilitate the ground services, The Ministry has approved the following suppliers: Way To Umrah, Umrah Door "Bab Al- Umrah", Tawaf and  Gaboul Ya Hajj

  • Any Hajj & Umrah Software should be able to easily integrate with the feed, provide all available options and successfully make a booking.
  • There are more than 690 Transportation companies who are registered with Maqam GDS and available for booking through this integration
  • The Ground Services integration is necessary for all B2C Hajj & Umrah Operators

Integration of a Payment Gateway: 

All payments against the bookings made by Umrah Operators and External Agents required to be paid to the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah are electronically transferred to the Ministry account. Upon confirmation of the payment, the Ministry provides a BRN against the booking.

  • However, for Travel Agencies to accept payments from their customers, the system needs to be integrated with a Payment Gateway that can handle domestic as well as international payments.
  • International Payment Gateways like MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and more are acceptable for this kind of requirements.
  • It should allow your customers to easily make payment through credit card or net banking.

For Umrah there are certain important parts of software that are needed and without which a agent or travel agency can’t work. These integrations in the system are necessary as it helps you give best deals to your customer.

Interested in starting your own Umrah Booking Service?

How can You provide Services to Local 

and GCC Residents?

  • Residents of GCC countries (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait) do not need BRN or Visa for attending Umrah. They are provided with Visa on arrival.
  • Other Mutamers / Pilgrims who hold a valid Schengen Visa or USA / UK Visa also fall under the category of Pre-approved Visa and do not need a BRN for their visit.
  • To service these customers, you can provide local inventory (Directly contracted through extranet).
  • The local inventory and services are also available in the Central Reservation System and do not generate a BRN on booking.
  • This is just an additional option for residents and per-approved mutamers. They can also book other properties and services available in the system.

How Hajj and Umrah booking works?

For Hajj and Umrah booking there are basically to 2 types of booking agents B2B and B2C / OTA. The online B2B travel portal for Hajj and Umrah needs certain details from beforehand like bank account in banks authorized by Saudi government, and Activate Google Authenticator App.

Step-1 - Sign up: First the agent need to sign-up on the Hajj and Umrah Booking Provider as EA or UO, Setting up agent account is the first parameter to taken care off. The Hajj and Umrah Ministry validates you with an IBAN number which helps you in signing in the account.

Step-2 - Enter search parameters: The agent enters the search parameters for the Mutamers as per their demand where they want to land and how they plan to stay and if they want to visit more places. He will fill the details according for the search parameter.

Step-3 - Select Room(s) / Vehicle(s): Agent will shown the available rooms and hotels on the basis of the search parameters from the feed he has in the system.

For OTAs / B2C platforms  1 more service is added i.e  Ground services. They are easy to add on the Portal and necessary to be provided in B2C.

Step-4 Enter the Lead Mutamer Details – This is only for B2B

The details of the lead Mutamer are needed to be entered, basically the person who is the head of the entire tour.

For OTAs  Review Cart, Enter the Pax Details and Checkout- only for B2C

The customer can Review his Cart which will show him the services he has opted for and the Customer must entre his PAX Details and check-out which confirms selection of the Services that he has opted.

Step -5 – Online Payment

Online Payment by eWallet (using Google Authenticator) For B2B: The agents needs to make the payment electronically, through e-wallet which is connected with the authorized bank account registered with the Ministry.

While agent is doing the payment every transaction is authenticated by the Google authenticator app provided to the agent at the time of registration.

Online Payment by Credit card for B2C/OTAs:  The customer needs to make a payment through his credit card only. The only payment option available at present on portal is through Credit Card.

Step-6 - Receive BRN (Booking Reference Number)

On the successful payment the agent will receive a BRN (Booking Reference Number) Which shows the booking for Your itinerary has been done. This BRN will be helpful for the Visa application.

Step-7 - Visa Application: Visa application for the Mutamer are done directly on the Ministry e-Visa system. The OTA platform Allows you to Process your Visa Application through same portal by directly transferring the BRN to the e-visa service. – only for B2C. 

Step-8 – Itinerary Download:  The agent of the pilgrim can download the booking receipts with the complete itinerary which includes all the requisite details of the journey.

10 things to know about Hajj and Umrah Booking Service:


The government of Saudi Arabia manages logistics of the visitors of Hajj and Umrah.: The entire logistics of the visitors who come for Hajj and Umrah is supervised by the government.

There are 2 types of services providers for Hajj and Umrah I.e is Umrah operators and External Agents.: For travel agents to do Hajj and umrah booking they have to be either in Saudi or they have to collaborate with a umrah travel agent and then do booking outside Saudi.


Agents can use any OTA’s to generate BRN (Booking Reference Number): Booking reference is generated when the booking is done and payment is made so BRN can be generated by any OTA’s approved by the Ministry of Haj & Umrah


BRN (Booking Reference Number) is Most important field used in visa application: The BRN is used in visa application as the reference for all your booking for the trip and is an important number as well. The visa portal will not accept applications without a valid BRN.

The Umrah operators need to open bank account in the ministry authorized bank only: The travel agent who is in Saudi needs to open an account in a government authorized bank to do umrah booking.


The suppliers integrated in the system are authorized by the government and managed  By Ministry of Hajj & Umrah:  For a B2B or B2C booking system for Hajj and umrah the suppliers are approved by ministry of Hajj and umrah. They have their own GDS system call MAQAM which is to be integrated you’re your Travel ERP system.


Payment gateway is also a necessary part that is to be integrated with the system or the payments are only done through that only. E-wallet is provided by the service provider: The booking should be integrated with a payment gateway as well for the visitors to do the payment for their booking. The system provides Wallet system for the B2B clients and Credit card for B2C system.


For payment Authorization Google Authenticator App is needed: When the agents want to login the government had provide with a unique registration number for the agent and which is authenticated by a Google authenticator to allow the access and authorized the user.


Visa applications are processed through ministry website only: Visa for Umrah are processed by only ministry of Hajj and Umrah they have their own portal for the visa application where you need to fill the details and submit your application.


For external agents a sub account is necessary under main account of the Umrah Company: Any travel agent who wants to started umrah booking outside Saudi has to collaborate with a Umrah operator and the Umrah operator will open a sub bank account in same bank under main account for the agent


Can Umrah booking be done B2C?

  • Yes , Umrah Booking can be Done B2C. For Umrah booking there are basically to 2 types of agents one who are in Saudi Arabia and call as Umrah Operator and other one are who are not in Saudi they are call as External agents.
  • For B2C booking for Hajj and Umrah OTAs are available in the market which are in turn connected to the system provided by the authorized service provider approved by Ministry of Hajj & Umrah
  • The Customer first goes to the OTA’s web site or portal that is available and where he can add the search parameter according to his requirement and necessity.
  • On OTA’s platform a customer will get the following services which he can book them by himself as per his requirement, the services are as follows: 
  1. Hotels: First on the search parameter basis he will be shown hotels in that region or his search terms with availability and fares.
  2. Transportation: Mutamer can only select the route – the route are predefined by the ministry. This helps him to see the service provider availability on the portal and book the cab for all his local transport
  3. Ground Services: He can decide about the Ground Services from the available packages and suitable to his needs and proceed with the booking.
  4. Visa Application: As a process all the services he selects are added in the cart and once he is done selecting his services he can review the cart and check if there is any error or anything he wants to remove from the services.
  5. E-Payment: To finalize the services he wants to avail from the B2C OTA platform the user needs to Enter the PAX Details and then checkout of the cart. Next, will be redirected to a payment Gateway to make the payment for the services through his credit card or Net banking .

Upon making the Payment he will Receive a BRN (Booking Reference Number), which is the most important information, that will help you in Visa Application.

The user is then redirected to the ministry Visa application portal where the BRN are automatically populated by the OTA platform.

What should you expect from the ERP Technology provider for Hajj & Umrah?

The Booking platform that you use for the Hajj & Umrah Booking is a critical piece of technology that will help you make seamless, fast and secure bookings for Umrah. Here are a few aspects that you should consider while evaluating a Travel ERP provider for your Umrah Booking Service.

Booking Engines: 

This is the most central part of your Umrah booking platform. It will allow you to make bookings across all three categories of services: Hotels, Transportation and Ground Services.
For all Umrah Booking Services, the booking engines are integrated with the Saudi GDS called Maqam, which provides the feed of all the approved suppliers with relevant details.

  • Hotel Booking Engine:  It provides suppliers like CRS, Agoda, and Umrah Holidays who are authorized by Ministry of Hajj and Umrah which is integrated to the booking engine to provide you with 850+ hotels.
  • Transportation Booking Engine: Transportation from airport to Mecca & Medina and back are to be provided to all Mutamers / pilgrims. The transportation booking engine facilitates this booking process through integration with Maqam. There are more than 90+ Transportation companies approved by the Ministry and the availability is shown based on the routes you choose.

  • Ground Services Booking Engine: The Ministry of Hajj & Umrah has extended support services to Mutamers / Pilgrims through ground services which are provided by 4 approved suppliers: Way To Umrah, Bab Al Umrah, Tawaf and Gaboul Ya Haj. The engine should successfully show available packages, book the services and generate a BRN.

  • Important Aspects to consider: 
    • The booking engine should do a powerful search on parameters like Location, Room, Hotel and Area
    • The Booking engine in addition to search parameters should provide multiple filter parameters like: Amenities, Room type, Distance from key places, Rating, Reviews
    •  The booking engine should show real time data for Rates, Availability, Fast booking success, No over booking, and High booking accuracy 


Now when a system has a good booking engine the system is supported by the suppliers that integrated in the system by the application.

  • Any Umrah booking Solution should be able to integrate with the Ministry approved suppliers for Hajj & Umrah
  • The Central Reservation System called Maqam provides the feeds of all suppliers within one API
  • Within the Maqam API, the information for different services is available which needs to be properly collected and displayed in the respective fields.
  • The more number of fields you are able to integrate, the more detailed and user friendly, your system is going to be.
  • We have extensively talked about the different suppliers for different services in the topics above.  

Mobile Application: 

  • The ministry hajj and umrah has recommended that any Travel Management System or Travel ERP provider should makes sure B2C or OTA services as well.
  • Adding a dedicated Mobile App for your Umrah Booking Solution will provide a much better engagement and customer service.
  • The mobile app should be compatible and bug free and should be able to seamless provide all the services as the web interface without any hassle.
  • The App must sync with website or the portal to provide all the details across platforms.

Secured Hosting

  • The System should be on a cloud server and A secure hosting means that your website will have an SSL certificate and your visitors will access your website using HTTPS which stands for (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) and it will encrypt all communication between your browser and website.
  • The Hosting should manage the role base system where the admin can see all the Data and his data can’t be seen by a booking agent.
  • The hosting should provide all the security with the payment gateway and GDPR compliance. 

Content management System (CMS)

The Content Management will come in handy where you want have a customer data base and want to engage with them through:

  • Newsletters
  • Offers and Promotions
  • FAQs
  • Trip Advices
  • Do’s and Don’ts

The CMS will help in maintaining the content that you want to have on the system so that you can distribute most important and relevant information to your users and agents. 

Customer Documentation: 

  • The system should be able to provide and hold all the important customer docs that are needed for the entire journey and should be ease to access also and all booking receipts and Booking bills.
  • All the required bills can be easily generated and all important details like flight booking receipts ,hotel receipts , and transfer booking receipts  can be generated .
  • The customer docs like tickets and visa papers can also be stored and accessed in the system.

Business Intelligence Reports

  • Grow your Business by Setting the right strategies is an essential section of business growth and meeting planned objectives.
  • The day to day operation tasks keeps travel companies so much occupied that they lose focus at any time.
  • The ERP should support business owners to keep a thorough and active check on the performance of their business so that they may spontaneously action on any erroneous situation.
  • Being able to manage your business and bookings with ease through ERP should already free up your time to develop your business and focus on your customers.

Customer Experience

  • The website / Mobile App should be fully responsive, which will deliver a seamless booking experience to your customers.
  • The website should be compatible with multiple devices, responsive and more efficient in showing the most relevant information in an organized way to the agents and customers.
  • The platform should provide fast, flexible travel technology which can be tailored to meet the specific needs of travel agents, tour operators, and travel companies.

The Technology provider should deliver cutting-edge, modern travel sites designed to enhance your digital footprint and enhance your customer's experience.

Notable efforts of the 

Ministry of Hajj and Umrah:

  • The ministry of Hajj and Umrah is expanding the two mosques to develop a train network for holy sites, housing project, makeshift tents, large building for airport to accommodate more pilgrims.
  • To support the pilgrim’s transportation, fleet with 18000 buses have organized transportation through more than 90+ transportation companies.
  • Ministry is providing a E-portal with issuance of Visa for Hajj and Umrah, this helps in improving the time and process for the visa.
  • This mechanism has been effectively launched, in order to make it easier for pilgrims to obtain their Umrah visas online and reduce the entry period for pilgrims.
  • The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah indicated that the mandatory components of the package of services for each Umrah performer include housing service, 3 days of health quarantine upon arrival to the Kingdom.
  • The app is to be launched by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, with the aim of enforcing health standards and making it easier for pilgrims to book their journeys.


Start your Own Umrah Travel Booking Service with Connect Umrah

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About Connect Umrah

Connect Umrah is the most advanced Hajj & Umrah Booking Software developed by Qtech Software. Connect Umrah offers seamless booking experience across B2B and B2C for all Umrah Operators and External Agents.

Travel Consolidators, Wholesalers, Online Travel Agencies who are looking for a plug and play solution to start their Hajj & Umrah Booking Service can leverage the technologically superior and advanced booking engines present on Connect Umrah.

Connect Umrah provides the complete Booking Software for Hajj and Umrah Booking with in-built features like Hotel Booking, Transportation Ground Services and Visa Application.

Qtech Software which has been awarded Middle Easts Leading Travel ERP Technology Provider for the last 4 years, is the licensor of Connect Umrah – Hajj & Umrah Booking Software.

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