Riyadh - Haj and Umrah services could go digital to a large extent within 12 years, as part of plans to streamline procedures and cope with the increasing numbers of pilgrims.
The Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah unveiled the ambitious plan in a video recording posted on its official website.
The ministry will rely massively on social media websites and cutting-edge information technology to digitalise Haj services by the year 1451 Hijri, corresponding to 2029 AD.
By 2029, each pilgrim planning to perform the Haj rituals will be presented with a smart bracelet and card, in addition to headphones providing Haj instructions.
Haj candidates will register online by 1451 through a smart pilgrimage and Umrah application.
Each confirmed pilgrim will then receive a box containing a smart bracelet and Haj card, in addition to the headphones.
The new digital devices will spare pilgrims the pain of standing for a long time at the customs. They will be required just to swipe their e-cards on a special electronic system.
Pilgrims will also be able to use their smart cards to commute by Al-Haramain train and reach their respective hotels where they find their luggage waiting for them.
The electronic bracelet will also guide pilgrims as they perform their Haj rituals, in addition to the instructions they will receive in their respective languages.
Pilgrims who get lost will also be tracked down using the smartphone The Global Positioning System (GPS).