Two million Muslims gather in Saudi Arabia this week for the hajj as the annual pilgrimage becomes increasingly hi-tech with apps to help the faithful navigate Islam’s holiest sites.
This year, the Saudis have launched a “smart hajj” initiative, with apps to help pilgrims with everything from travel plans to medical care. The authorities will be able to locate the people in need through mobile apps.
Every Muslim is required to complete the hajj at least once in their lifetime if they have the means to do so. Pilgrims then perform rituals around the Kaaba and on the Mount Arafat plain east of Mecca. The Hajj ends with Eid al-Adha, a three-day feast which starts with the “stoning of the devil”.