High-tech mobile hotel capsule opens in Mecca

By Debbie White Mailonline and AFP

Updated August 17, 2018 11:59, August 17, 2018 20:52

  • Mecca’s mobile pod is just over 2 meters long, 120 centimeters wide and 120 centimeters high.
  • Made of plastic and fiberglass, it can also be used to store luggage.
  • Guests use a magnetic card to open a sliding door at the end of the pod.

Miniature mobile hotel rooms are being piloted in Saudi Arabia to offer elderly and weary pilgrims a respite from the millions of believers who perform the Hajj in Mecca.

Mansour Al Ameer, director of the Jazi and Mutamah Gift Charitable Association, said the stackable pods offer a low-cost accommodation “solution” in crowded places, including holy sites.

The accommodation fee for the capsule, which is 220cm long, 120cm wide and 120cm high, has not been made public, but it can be used by pilgrims to shower, change clothes, and store luggage and valuables. Arab News reports.

The miniature hotel “rooms” can be stacked or stacked two units high, with three flights of stairs accessing the rooms above.
Muslim pilgrim to Mecca uses a laptop in a capsule room in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Squeeze it tight: The pod is only 120cm high, 220cm long and 120cm wide.

“The capsule will be deployed in Mina,” Al Ameer said. [neighbourhood in Mecca]It is intended for lost and elderly pilgrims who need rest and care so that they can continue their rituals easily and comfortably.

The pod’s doors are made of fiberglass and plastic and open automatically in the event of a power outage, allowing those who use the doors to access separate toilets.

To ensure privacy, the capsule has a sliding door at the end that can be opened and closed with a magnetic card.

Those staying in the bottom pods can stack their rooms up to two units high. You must crouch down to enter the miniature accommodation.
The pod’s door is made of fiberglass and plastic and opens automatically in the event of a power outage, allowing those using the pod to access separate toilets.

The miniature hotel rooms can be stacked side by side or stacked up to two units high, with three flights of stairs accessing the top pod.

These will be used at holy sites, along with housing and accommodation for pilgrims, as well as for workers and delegates.

The Hajj, one of the five pillars of the world’s fastest-growing religion, is expected to draw two million people from around the world this year.

All Muslims are obligated to complete Hajj at least once in their lifetime, if they have the means.

The annual pilgrimage is becoming increasingly high-tech, with apps helping believers tour Islam’s holiest sites.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia launched its “Smart Hajj” initiative, which offers apps to assist pilgrims with everything from travel planning to medical care.

For example, Asefny is an app launched by the Saudi Red Crescent Society to help pilgrims request emergency medical care.

Pilgrims pray at the Grand Mosque ahead of the annual Hajj in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.
The annual Islamic pilgrimage attracts millions of tourists each year, making it the largest annual gathering of people in the world.
Muslim pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque
A man takes a photo of Muslim worshipers praying around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Muslim pilgrims pray at the Grand Mosque before the annual Hajj in Islam’s holiest city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Authorities can find people in trouble through the app.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj also operates the Manashikana app, which provides interpretation for pilgrims who do not speak Arabic or English.

By Thursday, more than 1.6 million people had already arrived in Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage, which starts on Sunday, August 19 and continues until Friday, August 24.

Thousands of people arrive in Mecca, and groups from different countries have been seen wearing different colored clothing to distinguish themselves.

As temperatures soared above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Celsius), some pilgrims pushed elderly relatives in wheelchairs while others stopped to call family members via video chat or buy ice cream. there was.

Many were visibly moved to be so close to Islam’s holiest site, the Kaaba, the black masonry cube at the heart of Mecca’s Grand Mosque.

Thousands of people arrive in Mecca, with groups from each country seen wearing distinctive colors to stand out.
In the lead-up to the pilgrimage, which begins on Sunday, Saudi officials, including the Ministry of Health, are ensuring that all Hajj procedures and services are in place to accommodate the expected arrival of approximately 2 million pilgrims from around the world. I’m reconfirming it.
Large cooling fans spray water on Muslim pilgrims near the Grand Mosque
The sun sets over the city of Mecca as Muslim pilgrims wait to offer evening prayers inside the Grand Mosque

“I feel light as a feather,” said Fame Diouf, a Senegalese who traveled from Amsterdam. Laughing, she told a story about how she couldn’t stop crying near the Kaaba.

“This has been my dream since I was a child,” said Raja Amjad Hussain, who visited Mecca from Pakistan.

“I can’t explain it. I have no words,” the 40-year-old told AFP.

“For many Muslims, seeing the Kaaba and praying for themselves and the entire Islamic nation is the biggest dream of their lives.”

Two million Muslims will flock to Saudi Arabia this week for the Hajj.The annual pilgrimage is becoming increasingly high-tech, with apps designed to help believers tour Islam’s holiest sites.

For all pilgrims, regardless of their race or nationality, Hajj begins with Ihram, the wearing of all white clothing.

For men, this is a seamless tunic worn over baggy pants. For women, a loose-fitting dress that only exposes the face and hands.

Pilgrims then perform rituals around the Kaaba and on the plains of Mount Arafat east of Mecca.

Hajj ends with Eid al-Adha, a three-day festival that begins with the stoning of the devil.

Eid al-Adha also includes the slaughter of sheep, whose meat is distributed to Muslims in need. This ritual symbolizes Abraham’s will to sacrifice his son Ishmael in accordance with God’s command.

Muslim pilgrims in the holy city of Mecca watch as they circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand Mosque ahead of the annual Hajj.
The Hajj, one of the five pillars of the world’s fastest growing religion, is expected to attract two million people from around the world this year

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