Saudi Arabia has adopted the Makkah Road initiative to facilitate entry procedures for Hajj pilgrims and to allow them to easily access their places of residence through dedicated paths, part of its continuous efforts to develop services during the holy season.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has also concluded a cooperation agreement with the Coordinating Council to implement a program for measuring performance and Hajj satisfaction during this year’s pilgrimage.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Muwaihi, Secretary-General in charge of the Coordinating Council for Institutions and Companies serving pilgrims, said that the agreement included the implementation of three main programs, namely “measuring the quality of services, evaluating the satisfaction of the beneficiaries, and the secret guest program.”
He noted that the agreement defined the scope of the services provided, with the aim to ensure adherence to work procedures and to enhance coordination between the Ministry and the Coordinating Council, thus improving the pilgrims’ experience and raising competition between concerned companies and institutions.
Saudi Arabia launched the Makkah Route initiative on a trial basis during the 2017 Hajj season, targeting pilgrims from Malaysia. It extended it to Indonesian pilgrims in 2018.
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the initiative was re-launched during this year’s season to include pilgrims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Morocco, along with Malaysia and Indonesia. More than 276,000 pilgrims benefited from the initiative during the previous years.
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Sheikh Nureddine Muhammad Tawil, imam and preacher of the Islamic Cultural Center in Drancy, north of Paris, pointed that the Makkah Road initiative came to serve Muslims and facilitate the Hajj.
He noted that the package of services were modern and advanced, stressing that the Saudi government has harnessed the best technologies to improve the Hajj experience and raise performance efficiency and work proficiency to provide high quality services.
The initiative is implemented by the Saudi Ministry of Interior, in cooperation with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, Hajj and Umrah, the General Authority of Civil Aviation, the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), the Program for Serving the Guests of Rahman, the General Directorate of Passports, the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, and Elm Company.