JAKARTA – Tech-savvy Indonesian pilgrims will enjoy an easier hajj this year, thanks to a new smartphone hajj application launched by the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
“We have added more detailed information about the pilgrimage,” ministry spokesman Mastuki told Arab News.
Pilgrims can get information about their hotels, modes of transport, and a menu of the food they will eat throughout the journey by logging in the app, he added.
The app is available on Google Play Store for Android users.
Entering the code of their flight group, pilgrims can find out which hotel they will stay at in Makkah and Madinah, along with the map and online directions to get to the hotel and information on the facilities the hotel provides.
The pilgrims can also get information on the kind of food on the menu prepared for them on a specific day during their stay.
It includes other useful features that will help pilgrims during their life-time journey, such as weather prediction, flight schedule, prayer times, and currency exchange rate.
The app also provides a glossary of Hajj terms as well as an Indonesian-to-Arabic translation service for simple, everyday phrases pilgrims will need.
The app has been downloaded more than 10,000 times and has received mixed reviews from 395 users, of which 240 gave the app five stars.
“Pilgrims can also submit complaints on problems they found during this year’s pilgrimage by logging in to the feature using their passport numbers,” said Sri Ilhma Lubis, the ministry’s director for Hajj services, during the app launch on July 15.
Up to 221,000 pilgrims are expected to depart from Indonesia this year and the last Hajj departure will be on Aug. 14.
Muslims come to Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Hajj consists of several rites, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them.