Officials from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Etimad Office announced in one of the presentations that the app will be available for use on smart cellular phones, making it more accessible to Hajj pilgrims. Specifically, there will be only three simple steps, and they are as follows:
- Taking selfies
- Scanning passports
- Scanning fingerprints with the help of the mobile camera
Authorities state that the fingerprint biometric facility can be accessed for free at any of the Etimad Offices located across the country. In addition, Muhammad Umar Butt, a spokesman for the Ministry of Religious Affairs, clarified that information on how to access and utilize this mobile app would be published on the Ministry’s website and social media accounts.
I’m sorry to break it to you, but people who have trouble using their hands or fingers will need to provide a digitally signed medical release form from a licensed physician. Clearly, the biometric smartphone app had been further streamlined.
Officers from the Hajj Wing and private Hajj operators reportedly attended the meeting, which was presided over by the joint secretary of Hajj. It was determined in early February by the Ministry to give a 25% preference in the Government Hajj Program to those pilgrims who pay in US dollars.
Officials have stated that under the new Hajj regulation, those who pay their fees in dollars will not be required to vote. To boost the country’s current foreign exchange reserves, the ministry has created the “Sponsorship Plan,” which will help about 22,400 pilgrims. This year, Hajj costs can now be submitted via dollar-denominated overseas remittances.