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Smart Card to Help Pilgrims Navigate Hajj
A tent city about a mile outside Mecca housed some of the more than 2 million pilgrims who attended the 2016 ‘hajj.’ (Seeley International/Wikimedia Commons)

Smart Card to Help Pilgrims Navigate Hajj

Pilgrims to the annual Hajj in Mecca will for the first time be able to use technology to help them navigate the pilgrimage.

The Hajj smart card, which was unveiled on Monday for Mecca Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who is also the chairman of the Central Hajj Committee, and his deputy Prince Badr bin Sultan.

The card is linked to all services provided for the pilgrims, including the camps and hotels and transportation. The card can also be used to pay at points of sales and ATMs, guide lost pilgrims, control entry to the camps and time movements.

The card, tagged to the pilgrim’s official permit and ID number, will be issued at the Al-Zaidi Reception Center, established to facilitate the movement of pilgrims from and into Mecca, reduce the waiting time for buses and to manage the crowds.

The Hajj begins this year on July 18. Participation is limited to Saudi citizens and residents due to the coronavirus.

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