#FactCheck: Did Saudi Arabia ban carrying Zamzam water on flights?
Many publications Wednesday afternoon claimed that Saudi Arabia has banned passengers from carrying Zamzam water on flights and the move coincided with Dhul-Hajj, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims from around the world gather in Makkah to perform Hajj.
The stories cited a Hajj Instructions notification issued by the Saudi aviation authority, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA). However, most of the reports misquoted the instruction mentioned in paragraph 6.9 on page number 11.
It claimed that the authorities have restricted the pilgrims from carrying Zamzam water and all the airlines have been instructed to ensure that none of the passengers traveling through Jeddah or any other airport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have bottles filled with holy water.
The stories further claimed that airlines have been warned of “strict action” in case of violation of the new orders.
However, when SAMAA Digital obtained the notification from the GACA website, the Hajj Instructions clearly mentions that the “allowed amount” of Zamzam water will be allowed for pilgrims to carry with them.
“Air Carriers strictly prohibited carrying Zamzam water except allowed amount based on the electronic service of Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, and produce by the Custodian of the Holy Mosques Zamzam Project,” the notification stated (emphasis added).
“Zamzam water container must well be wrapped properly by the wrapping company at the airport,” it added.
The authorities instructed all the airlines to ensure Zamzam logistics on the ferry, adding that the holy water shall not be left at the airport until the end of the Hajj season.
According to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, passengers are only allowed to purchase and check-in one box of five liters of Zamzam water which must be packed in a manufactured packaging provided by the Saudi Airport Authority.