Technology

ISLAMABAD: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will start providing electronic identification bracelets to all Haj pilgrims starting this year, as part of a safety drive that comes a year after the Mina stampede, the greatest tragedy suffered at the ancient pilgrimage site in a generation.

Storing personal and medical information, the bracelets will help authorities provide care and identify people, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

The devices, which are water-resistant and GPS-enabled, will also alert worshipers on prayer timings and link them to a multi-lingual help desk to guide non-Arabic speaking pilgrims through the various rituals of Hajj.

Saudi Arabia oversees the annual pilgrimage of more than two million Muslims to Makkah from around the world. Nearly a thousand new surveillance cameras were installed this month at the Grand Mosque and linked to control rooms staffed by special forces monitoring pilgrim movements for the Ramazan rush.

This year, the annual Haj event will take place in September.