Smart Hajj initiative introduced to improve pilgrim experience

  •  Muslims intending to perform the haj and umrah can expect a greatly improved user experience under a slew of major initiatives being planned and rolled out by Saudi Arabia.
  • These include use of the latest high-technology system to clear immigration at the airport that will reduce the waiting time to 10 minutes from two hours currently, and the introduction of high-speed trains.
  • “The waiting time at the airport now is not acceptable,” Saudi Vice-Minister of Haj and Umrah, Dr Abdulfattah Suliman Mashat, told a group of visiting Malaysian editors.
  • “Right now, we need to manually check his or her passport,” he said. In the future, you can use the RFID at electronic gates and immediately get on the bus and trains to the hotel.”
  • He said: “We are adopting what we call Smart Haj. We are making the waiting time shorter and shorter.
  • “From this year, there will be the new processes. We are re-engineering the process involving the baggage, passport and airport transfers.”
  • The kingdom has plans to implement E-Haj visa across the globe from this year after a successful pilot project in Malaysia.
  • Malaysian haj pilgrims had been used as a test case for the Proof of Concept system for pre-clearance prior to their departure for the kingdom.

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