Technological solutions help Hajj experience

Saturday, August 25, 2018

MINA: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s information technology department is providing technical solutions to help pilgrims during their stay in Makkah.

Eng. Hisham Hammami, the chief information officer (CIO) for the ministry, told Arab News that this year all internal data center and communications infrastructure serving pilgrims from within the Kingdom were upgraded.

He said that the ministry opened the system earlier for customers to evaluate the packages and ease the reservation process for obtaining Hajj permits.

Hammami said: “We also created a daycare service reserved through the site as a service for children coming to Hajj with their parents.”

For pilgrims coming from abroad, the CIO said that a system to alert government sectors concerned with pilgrims’ arrival 24 hours in advance was implemented to ensure all services were ready.

At airports, there was a passport scanner system to help distribute the pilgrims to their buses more quickly.

Hammami added that a new single system had been developed for pilgrims to perform their ritual without the use of Hajj service providers.

“Manasikana,” an interactive mobile application, uses satellite-based maps to locate sacred areas and help pilgrims to be in the right place at the right time for their rituals.

It uses GPS technology so pilgrims can locate their companions and find routes to reach them. The application is regularly updated to reflect all the mosques, restaurants, restrooms and other places of interest for pilgrims in the holy cities and Jeddah.