How to Avoid Heatstroke during Hajj?

Saudi Arabia is known for its hot, dry desert climate during summer. Temperatures may exceed 48 degrees Celsius in certain areas. With the Hajj season arriving in summer, pilgrims may be exposed to heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

In this regard, the Saudi National Center of Meteorology (NCM) Chief Executive, Ayman Ghulam, announced on Tuesday that Makkah and the holy sites would likely experience hot to extremely hot weather during this year’s Hajj season, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Hot Weather

In a press conference in Makkah, Ghulam said that daily maximum temperatures in the holy sites during Hajj are forecast to range between 45 to 48 degrees Celsius.

Ghulam added that surface winds during the day may stir up dust, particularly in open areas and on the highways. He said that chances of rain remain low but thunderclouds could form in the highlands of Taif, and their effects could extend to the holy sites. Moreover, humidity levels may reach up to 60% during Hajj.

NCM Readiness

During the conference, Ghulam confirmed the NCM’s readiness for the Hajj season, harnessing an integrated system of technologies, human capabilities, and technical expertise.

The NCM has launched a media and awareness center in Mina, which will provide daily weather updates and awareness messages for pilgrims in 5 languages through 12 media channels.

What is Heatstroke?

The prolonged exposure to high temperatures, especially in high humidity, or physical activity in high temperatures, can lead to heat exhaustion. If not treated properly, it can lead to heatstroke.

Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition which requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can cause complications, damaging the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles.

Many pilgrims experience heat exhaustion or heatstroke due to standing and walking for a long period of time in the sun when the temperature is high.


Heat exhaustion symptoms may start suddenly or progress over time. They include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dryness and redness of the skin
  • Muscle fatigue and cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid or weak heart pulse
  • Difficulty in swallowing and breathing
  • Faintness

Tips to Avoid Heatstroke

Pilgrims can protect their bodies from the scorching sun during Hajj rituals by following these tips:

  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight
  • Use light-colored umbrellas
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
  • Rest between rituals to avoid fatigue
  • Sit under shade and around cool areas
  • Get enough sleep and rest
  • Use sunscreen to avoid sunburn and dry skin

How to deal with Heatstroke?

When someone experiences heatstroke symptoms, they should bring down body temperature until they get emergency medical aid.

Tips to follow:

  • Move into an air-conditioned room or shaded area
  • Remove excess clothing
  • Immerse your body in a cold-water bath
  • Apply cold compresses to the back of neck, forehead, and armpits
  • Drink cool or cold water


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