Hajj Pilgrimage to benefit from internet technology

Saudi Arabia's new internet portal YaHajj.com is expected to take the world's oldest religious pilgrimmage into the 21st century, according to a top computer executive.

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By  David Cass Published  June 4, 2002

One of HP’s top executives has been outlining the massive initiative just going online to manage the Hajj Pilgrimage to the holy shrines at Mecca. Charles Ashman, HP’s Director of Solutions, Business Development, revealed that the computer giant has been working closely with Riyadh’s Ministry of Hajj to use 21st century technology to ease the management of the oldest religious pilgrimage in the world.

YaHajj.com is the name of the site and it is now live online. Ashman told delegates to ITP’s e-government seminar in Riyadh that, by using the site, the Ministry will be able to improve the enjoyment and spiritual of the experience for tens of thousands of pilgrims each year. “Through the site the ministry will have contact with potentially millions of prospective pilgrims,” he said. “They speak in many different languages, live all around the world and use many different currencies.”

“If we can capture the visa details at application stage we will have enough information to help on every level from logistics to security. Among the more obvious benefits will be fewer mistakes over travel and hotel bookings.”

YaHajj.com is a 24/7 operation with links to all other Moslem portals around the world and every Saudi Arabian government ministry which might have an interest in the pilgrimage.

Says Ashman, “This is a government entity with a very specific mission – but it is all about improving levels of service.

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