News Column

Navigation app boon for Haj pilgrims from India

July 15, 2014

JEDDAH: Irfan Mohammed

A new state-of-the-art navigation system is being introduced to help Indian pilgrims to find their way to their places of accommodation in Makkah during Haj, Indian Consul General B. S. Mubarak told Arab News.

"Pilgrims will wear identification tags on their wrists that will be connected to the mobile phone devices of mission officials and volunteers," he said.

The consulate is the first foreign mission in the Kingdom to come up with this innovative GPS app, which will be available for use by both Indian pilgrims and expats in the western region.

"Though we have many volunteers helping missing pilgrims find their way, most fail to effectively explain where they are, making it difficult for officials to find them. This new app will help us overcome logistical problems encountered during this busy season," said the diplomat.

More than 136,000 pilgrims from India are expected to perform Haj this year.

"The new app will be available for download on the IOS and Android platforms of smartphones during Haj," he said.

Indian pilgrims will be provided with Saudi SIM cards prior to boarding their flights to Jeddah and Madinah and will receive an app downloading message upon arrival.

The consulate recently launched a Facebook page in a bid to connect with the Indian community, enabling expats in both the Kingdom's western and southern regions to interact with their local mission and engage with fellow Indian expats.

"Our new Facebook page is the perfect way for Indian expatriates to get more information about issues that matter and provide their input," he said.

The website contains vital information about community welfare and procedures related to complaints and labor-related issues.

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Source: Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

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