The hajj in tune with the times: between technology and the pandemic

From July 7 to 12, 2022, 1 million pilgrims will participate in the hajj in Mecca. The pilgrimage is one of the most important religious gatherings in the world. Considered a major event, its organization represents a major logistical feat every year. On this occasion, Saudi Arabia is betting on new technologies to facilitate the journey of pilgrims and guarantee their safety, proof against the pandemic.

Digitization of essential pilgrim contact details

This year, 1 million pilgrims will participate in the hajj. Due to the Covid pandemic, the Saudi authorities have adopted new technologies in order to select participants according to defined sanitary conditions. The Motawif platform has been set up in particular to digitize the information of each pilgrim from North America, Europe or Australia wishing to participate in the hajj. In addition to significantly reducing the price of transactions for this spiritual journey, Motawif greatly facilitates the planning of pilgrims.

Facilitate hajj for all and guide pilgrims

Of the “hajj cards” electronic will also be deployed to pilgrims. These not only allow the identification of pilgrims but also provide contactless access to religious sites, accommodation and transport for travelers as well as guarantee virtual payments. The digital system also makes it easier to locate pilgrims across hajj sites. Artificial intelligence is also expected to prove itself through the Arafat Sermon mobile application, translating into 10 languages Mount Arafat sermon live.

Social distancing and comfort

In terms of social distancing, the Kingdom has also implemented new robotic measures. Distributors of holy water and many guide robots replace staff and avoid non-essential gatherings during the pilgrimage. The Kingdom aims to distribute around three million bottles per day in the Grand Mosque of Mecca, and one million in the other holy places. Packed lunches also replace buffets for this purpose.

Health, on site, will not be outdone either, since the medical teams will all be equipped with tablets in order to facilitate diagnoses and communications. With the bet of technology, Saudi Arabia hopes to guarantee pilgrims an optimal and safe experience of the hajj.

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