India to introduce integrated mobile app for next Hajj
The Indian Hajj Mission was the first foreign mission in Saudi Arabia to come up with an innovative Global Positioning System application
The Indian Hajj Mission is developing an integrated mobile app for the pilgrims for the next Hajj. The new app will have so many added features apart from comprehensive information about all Indian pilgrims, including those who come through private tour operators (PTO) and domestic pilgrims besides the information of pilgrims coming through the Hajj Committee,” said Indian Consul General Mohammed Noor Rahman Sheikh.
The Indian Hajj Mission was the first foreign mission in Saudi Arabia to come up with an innovative Global Positioning System (GPS) application during the Hajj of 2014.
Speaking to Saudi Gazette, Sheikh said that the Hajj Mission added so many features to the Indian Hajj Accommodation Locator, an app developed to help pilgrims find their accommodation, and now it has been renamed as Indian Hajj Information System. The integration of the app is being made in coordination with the Indian Hajj Committee.
“Our ambitious plan is to integrate all our IT system, online complaint management system, WhatsApp, Twitter, toll free number and e-mail, into the integrated one. We take the full data of Hajis from the Haj committee after linking of the servers of the consulate and the Hajj Committee. So far we have 55,000 downloads of apps and our target is to increase it 10 times by next Hajj,” he said, adding that intensive training will be provided to the Mission staff on using the upgraded app.
Now pilgrims use apps after their arrival in the holy land until their departure, Sheikh pointed out. “But our plan is to enable the pilgrims to take advantage of it from the very moment they apply for Hajj. Being the use of smartphones becoming wider, the pilgrims can check the status of their application, as well as their arrival and departure timing, details of flights, buildings for stay, and all other information integrated into one.”
“There is no cause of anxiety about finding out buildings or such other things before setting out for Hajj. The pilgrim can be fully equipped with all the information and details related to their performance of Hajj well before their arrival in the Kingdom, thanks to the app.”
The consul general said that e-bracelet will be introduced for the Indian pilgrims from the next Haj onwards. “Even though we had notification in this regard from the Ministry of Hajj last year, it was a bit late and hence we could not implement it. We conveyed the information to the Hajj Committee and we are going to do it this time and it will also be linked to our app,” he added.
This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on November 15, 2016.