Saudi Arabia Offers 5 New Services during Hajj Season 2024

Saudi Arabia is gearing up to receive more than two million pilgrims for the Hajj season 2024.

The highly spiritual journey for Muslims is expected on June 14-June 19, 2024, when pilgrims from around the world will flock to the holy city of Makkah to perform Hajj rituals. This year, the Kingdom has introduced new services to ensure a smooth and streamlined experience for pilgrims.

AI-enhanced Technology

The Makkah Route Initiative has adopted a digital and AI-enhanced approach to facilitate services for pilgrims from across the world. The initiative deploys advanced technology and algorithms to facilitate the Hajj journey by enabling pilgrims to finish entry procedures through dedicated lounges in their home country airports.

The initiative uses advanced technologies and digital solutions to provide other services, including issuing electronic Hajj visas, collecting biometric data, completing passport procedures, and tagging and sorting luggage.

Saudi Arabia Offers 5 New Services during Hajj Season 2024
Makkah Route Initiative utilizes technology

In a similar vein, the Saudi Ministry of Education in Makkah, in collaboration with its Saudi Arabian Scouts Association, has launched a training program for scouts. The Hajj season 2024 will utilize a smart application to enrich pilgrims’ experience.

The program’s main objective is to teach scouts how to make use of digital technology and QR codes on their smartphones. This will enable them to provide pilgrims with guidance, on-site navigation and route planning within the holy sites.

Digital Services

To fully exploit advanced technologies in enriching pilgrims’ experience, the Saudi Ministry of Interior launched the digital identity services for individuals arriving to the Kingdom with a Hajj visa. This new service is part of the government efforts to promote digital transformation and harness technology to serve people, in accordance with Vision 2030 objectives.

Through the Absher and Tawakkalna platforms, pilgrims can electronically verify their identity to ensure an easy and streamlined journey, with high-quality services.

In addition, the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque has introduced a digital system to streamline Tawaf during the Hajj season 2024.

The initiative involves developing smart digital applications, which will enable pilgrims to perform Hajj rituals smoothly and with devotion. They will also monitor Tawaf operations, and ensure that Tawaf guides adhere to instructions and guidelines to deliver the best outcome for pilgrims.

Flying Taxis

Saudi Arabia Offers 5 New Services during Hajj Season 2024
Saudi Arabia to introduce flying taxi services in Hajj 2024

This year, Saudi Arabia will launch flying taxi services for pilgrims. Saudia Airlines will use Lilium aircrafts, known as eVTOL, to transport pilgrims from King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah to hotels in Makkah. The aircraft is fully electric and can accommodate 4-6 passengers.

Around 100 Lilium eVTOL will be deployed during the Hajj season 2024 to provide an exceptional and enhanced travel experience for pilgrims.

Special Programs

The President of Religious Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, has approved the launch of 1,000 Quran memorization programs.

Saudi Arabia Offers 5 New Services to pilgrims
Quran memorization programs

The initiative’s main goal is to spread Quran’s morals and moderate messages across the world under the guidance of Saudi qualified teachers. It also seeks to enhance pilgrims experience and expand the creation of Quran memorization programs at the two holy mosques. It is part of the presidency’s plan for the Hajj season 2024.

Furthermore, the presidency has launched a new program focusing on providing better care for the sick, elderly, and disabled pilgrims. To improve the experience of pilgrims with special needs and create a more suitable worshipping environment for them, the presidency will utilize flexible technologies, train staff and mobilize resources to provide appropriate care for pilgrims.

Water Distribution

The Soqia Water Society in Makkah Region has launched a project to distribute water during this year’s Hajj season. The project aims to provide 12 million bottles of chilled water to pilgrims.

Saudi Arabia Offers 5 New Services during Hajj Season 2024
Water distribution

The distribution process will take place at several locations. These include at the sacred sites, the entrances to the Grand Mosque of Makkah, the Miqat locations for Ihram, airports, Jeddah Islamic Port, and transport stations that pilgrims pass through. The Soqia Society will participate with 17 high-capacity refrigerated water dispensers in holy sites. Each dispenser meets the needs of 60,000 pilgrims.

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