UAE Press: Haj hackathon is a great initiative

ABU DHABI, A UAE newspaper has said that the largest pilgrimage in the world, with the biggest gathering of people at one place at a given time, the annual Haj performed by Muslims is a staggering feat of logistics undertaken by Saudi Arabia every year.

In an editorial on Sunday, the Gulf News said, “As such, every attempt to streamline the services and enable pilgrims to have a seamless experience holds great value for millions from around the world.

“The three-day Haj Hackathon held in Jeddah last week was one such initiative that brought together thousands of programmers from 51 countries to ideate on providing more effective Haj services across a range of areas from food, sanitation, finance, transportation and accommodation to communications, crowd management and physical navigation.”

“This is the era that is defined by the technological solutions on offer in every domain and while there already exist several apps for Haj, including ideas on Augmented Reality-based aids for pilgrims, the sheer scale of Haj always stands to benefit from newer approaches. Whether a pilgrim is performing Haj for the first time, or is returning, the role of technology in facilitating the experience is a contemporary necessity,” the paper added.

It went on to say that the hackathon, a great impetus in this regard, distinguishes itself beyond its winner’s purse. One of its highlights was the robust participation by Saudi women as they geared up to display their educational and technical expertise in programming.

“The resultant ideas from the hackathon will go a long way in further improving and developing Haj services and the event emphasises Saudi Arabia’s commitment to becoming a regional and global leader in technical innovation and developing the environment and infrastructure in consonance with that,” concluded the Dubai-based news paper.

Source: Emirates News Agency