Jeddah- The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that as of this year’s Hajj season, pilgrims will be required to use electronic identification bracelets as part of a safety measure, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
With the campaign launched last week, retail shops selling the electronic bracelet started logging all personal identification information of pilgrims. The information saved includes as to where the visitor had entered the Kingdom, the visitor’s visa number, passport number and address.
During last week’s premiere exhibit of the portable piece, Eisa Mohammad Rawas, undersecretary for Umrah affairs at the ministry, said the new device would allow a better delivered service by government and private sector bodies including for those who are lost, elderly and do not speak Arabic.
It is water-resistant, connected to GPS, and contains personal and medical information, helping authorities provide care and identify people.
SPA said the devices will also notify those who wear them on timings of prayers and a multi-lingual help desk to guide especially non-Arabic speaking pilgrims around the various rituals of the annual Islamic event.
Saudi Arabia receives during the annual pilgrimage to Makkah over two million Muslims coming from all around the world.
Nearly a thousand new surveillance cameras were installed this month at Makkah’s Grand Mosque which are directly connected to control rooms staffed by special forces monitoring pilgrim movements for the event scheduled for August, Hajj officials have said.
Undersecretary Rawas said the ministry consulted with travel agents and Hajj and Umrah companies here and abroad before designing the bracelets. The information can be accessed using a smartphone by employees of the ministry, and security and services bodies.