MAKKAH: Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, adviser to King Salman and governor of Makkah, chaired a meeting of the Central Hajj Committee to review plans for the holy month of Ramadan.
The committee reviewed plans to intensify field service and oversight tours to provide the best services to Umrah pilgrims, and raise the readiness of land, sea, airport and sorting facilities.
The strategy also aims to expand the automation of reception and farewell procedures, reduce the waiting times of Umrah pilgrims in airports and increase the number of alternative buses dedicated to transporting pilgrims.
The committee discussed a number of topics as well as issues and recommendations by the Executive Committee of the Central Hajj Committee.
Dean of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj and Umrah Research Dr. Turki Al-Omar said that the Saudi state and the leadership are keen to improve all services related to Hajj and Umrah, believing in their historic role in serving Islam and Muslims.
He added that all state institutions strive to fully carry out their roles, including the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj and Umrah Research, which relies on scientific methodology to improve services.
This methodology can be summarized in several steps, including studying the status of the service by evaluating it with specific criteria, measuring the satisfaction of beneficiaries and studying the best global practices related to the service.
Al-Omar said the institute has developed many proposed solutions to improve services to reach the required quality standards. It also chooses some solutions through determinants to ensure that the selected solutions are the most appropriate for the Hajj and Umrah environment. They have tested the proposed solutions through simulation techniques and then apply solutions on the ground, evaluate them and continue the process of improvement.
Ahmed Bajafer, an investor in Umrah companies, said that as part of increased transport efforts, there will be more frequent train services from King Abdulaziz Airport to Makkah.
He stressed that entrances and access to the Grand Mosque in Makkah “must be facilitated” from several points. He said that the needs of the elderly must be taken into account in transportation improvements.