‘Smart Hajj’: More services planned to improve pilgrims’ experience

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Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, left, and Dr. AbdulRahman Aljadhai, CEO of Elm company, sign two memorandums of understanding to develop and operate an electronic platform for subsistence, health, environment, and to establish and operate the Qualifying and Licensing Center for Employees of Hajj and Umrah Sectors. (Photos/Supplied)
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Updated 09 October 2019

‘Smart Hajj’: More services planned to improve pilgrims’ experience

  • The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is one of the participants in GITEX 2019, an annual technological event in Dubai

JEDDAH: The first phase of “Smart Hajj” helped the movement, transportation and safety of pilgrims this year, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced.
Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, and Dr. AbdulRahman Aljadhai, CEO of Elm Co., signed two memorandums of understanding to develop and operate the electronic platform for subsistence, health, environment, and to establish and operate the Qualifying and Licensing Center for Employees of Hajj and Umrah Sectors.
“The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is undergoing digital transformation in cooperation with leading technology companies to promote the concepts of using smart solutions to provide high-quality services for the Guests of Allah, which will contribute to improving and enriching pilgrims’ experience in the Kingdom as well as achieve one of the main goals of Saudi Vision 2030,” Dr. Mashat said during a press statement at GITEX 2019.
“The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, in accordance with the instructions and guidance of the Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammad Salih Bentin, has made many strategic partnerships with the private sector to improve the quality of services and the development of ‘Smart Hajj’ solutions, including the signing of memorandums of understanding last year with SAP in the field of technology, digital infrastructure, cloud computing, geospatial cloud computing platforms, Internet of Things, and smart cards to improve services,” he said.
Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, chief planning and strategy officer at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, said: “Our Smart Hajj ensures that millions of pilgrims from around the world are transported quickly, easily and safely to religious sites on set schedules.
“The successful digital transformation allows real-time insights to optimize travel and crowd experiences and during our second phase of Smart Hajj we will roll-out predictive modeling and simulation for millions of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.”
The “Smart Hajj” captures in real time pilgrims using the Internet of Things, geospatial and camera analytics, along with data from the pilgrim experience mobile feedback platform.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is one of the participants in GITEX 2019, an annual technological event in Dubai. The ministry is showcasing its latest technologies in serving Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and enriching their experience in Saudi Arabia.


Tech CEOs caution against fear of job automation at Misk Global Forum

Updated 25 min 15 sec ago

Tech CEOs caution against fear of job automation at Misk Global Forum

  • DetraPel manufactures safe nanotech-based protective coatings, and water and stain repellents
  • Luke Tang, CEO of Techcode, said the company is eyeing the Saudi market “to help more startups”

RIYADH: Human capital can never be replaced by technology, said DetraPel CEO David Zamarin at the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh on Wednesday.
“Technology is often misconstrued with loss of jobs,” Zamarin said at a session titled “Humanizing work: Tech is not the bad guy.”
He added: “The goal of technology should be to get rid of routine work that can easily be substituted by technology.”
DetraPel manufactures safe nanotech-based protective coatings, and water and stain repellents.
Zamarin said technology can make things easier, but “we still need people ... and that’s the most important part of it. Humans can do jobs (that) technology can never solve.”
Luke Tang, CEO of Techcode, a China-based global network of startup innovation hubs, said the company is eyeing the Saudi market “to help more startups.”
He added that many technologies are impacting the future of the workplace, workflow and workforce.
“Because of these technology trends, we’ll be able to make better use of our talents,” said Tang, adding that many startups are emerging because of this.
Microsoft’s creative director, Lauren Cascio, said the American multinational tech company’s job is to make things safer. “We’re ... automating dull, dirty and dangerous work,” she added. “We’re prioritizing safety.”