RIYADH: Arab News has launched the 2018 version of its smartphone Hajj app for use this month during the annual Muslim pilgrimage season.
The free app — available to download from Thursday for iOS and Android devices via the App Store and Google Play — has new and enhanced features, including live news updates and the signature “Hajj tracker,” which enables pilgrims to connect with their loved ones back home.
The Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL) will again be sponsoring the Hajj app. The partnership with MWL, which began last year, is part of the international Muslim body’s global outreach efforts to serve all Muslims.
The latest release of the app features several functions for use during the Hajj season, including safety features such as an emergency call number and list of embassies and important service providers during Hajj.
New features include a digital Qibla compass, a real-time currency converter and Qur’an prayer audio files.
The app also features improvements to the hugely useful “pilgrim tracker” function. The feature, which is optional, allows users who activate it to share their location and follow loved ones in real time, around the clock.
Mohammed Al-Sulami, Arab News Jeddah bureau chief and head of the paper’s Hajj coverage team, thanked MWL for its endorsement of the app and said the aim of this corporate social responsibility initiative was to provide a useful and free service for pilgrims on their unique spiritual journey.
“Our mission is to make Arab News more global and more digital, and the Hajj App — thanks to the generous support from the MWL — does just that by providing a live news service and helpful, easy-to-use functions that every pilgrim can benefit from during Hajj,” he said.
The Muslim World League commended the newspaper’s initiative of deploying technology in such an innovative and useful way for the public good.
“We are happy to renew our partnership with Arab News and our support of this app, which reinforces our position as an umbrella body seeking to serve Muslims worldwide,” the MWL said.
Arab News is part of the regional publishing giant Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG). It has been the English newspaper of record for Saudi Arabia and the region for over 40 years.
More details about the app can be found at www.arabnews.com/Hajjapp
It can be downloaded via:
Apple App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/Hajj-app-by-arab-news/id1271217604?mt=8
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.srpc.arabnews_Hajjguide&hl=en