MAKKAH – A new app allowing millions of Muslims to easily navigate the Grand Mosque in Makkah has been released, designed to guide users to places inside Muslim holiest place of worship in the world.
“Users can easily navigate to important areas and service checkpoints in all floors of the Grand Mosque,” Amjad Al-Hazmy, director at the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Projects, told Saudi Gazette on Thursday, July 14.
“The app was downloaded by 30,000 users on various devices including Android, iPhone and iPad,” he added.
Al-Masjid al-Haram is Islam’s holiest shrine and home to the Ka`bah, the direction Muslims take during prayers.
Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Making navigation easier to worshipper from around the world, Umm Al-Qura University Businesses and Information Creativity President Nabil Kowshak said his company Wadi Makkah for Technology designed the app.
The application does not need internet connection to determine location.
“The app aims to facilitate the navigation of users in the Grand Mosque,” said Kowshak.
“The app provides information on the services offered at the ground level of the mosque. The app was developed in cooperation with the Internal Navigation Company,” he added.
According to developers, the app depends on core blue low energy sensors that send signals to the mobile phone of the user to determine the user’s location.
“The app can then instruct the user by voice where to go in order to reach the desired destination. The app also provides 3D maps to help users,” CEO of the Internal Navigation Company Saleh Basalamah said.
The company has also dispersed 1,500 sensors all across the first floor of the Grand Mosque.
“The company will be working on the second phase of the project soon,” Basalamah added.
He said the app also provides navigation to the main roads in Makkah, the Grand Mosque and its arenas, special needs services, the gates of the Grand Mosque, bus stops and other facilities.
“The app has eight features including offline usage. The app, which is in Arabic and English, is available in iOS and Android. A tour guide of the Grand Mosque works on Bluetooth.”