Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Saudi Arabia Starts Preparing for Next Hajj Season With ‘Smart Card’

Saudi Arabia Starts Preparing for Next Hajj Season With ‘Smart Card’

Friday, 23 August, 2019 - 13:30

Saudi Arabia has started preparing for the next Hajj season as it will launch a high-tech smart Hajj card next year as part of the Smart Hajj Program.

It also announced progress in the development and expansion of the Holy Mosque in Makkah, with the completion of 85 percent of the project.

The Saudi government seeks to complete the project, which is the largest in history, by next year, bringing the capacity of the campus to more than 2.5 million worshipers.

The General Presidency for the affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque announced the completion of 85 percent of the project to add an area of more than 3,000 square meters in the vicinity of the Grand Mosque.

It said this would facilitate the movement of visitors to the Grand Mosque in Makkah and manage the crowds.

The expansion work included the removal of a number of places for ablution in the yards and the provision of a number of complexes for ablution under the stairs there, in addition to bathrooms distributed on the edges of the praying squares.

The Presidency explained that the project aims to raise the capacity within the Holy Mosque and its yards to provide the best services to the visitors and pilgrims, facilitate the management of the crowds and ensure their safety.

It stressed that development projects are implemented in accordance with field studies and engineering plans, in cooperation with a number of relative authorities.

Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammed Benten said that the ministry will implement the Smart Hajj Card’s project starting the next Hajj season.

He pointed out on his official Twitter page that the card will be printed in the pilgrim’s home country, and there will be no need to present a passport.

The Card features the pilgrim’s personal, medical and residential information, through which it can provide several services to pilgrims, including guidance for lost people.

Editor Picks