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RIYADH: The Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence is participating in providing technical and digital services for the Makkah Route Initiative, a program under the Ministry of Interior’s Pilgrim Experience Program which aligns with Saudi Vision 2030 initiatives.

Engineers and technicians are operating across Morocco, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkiye, and Ivory Coast, integrating them with the authority’s systems, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Its tasks include developing highly private technical systems that meet service requirements, such as border systems, Hajj systems, traveler registration systems, and mobile bags equipped with biometric registration devices, all aimed at streamlining procedures.

The efforts of the authority are part of the extensive support provided by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to enhance the fields of data and AI, stimulating their growth and maximizing their benefits.

Launched in 2019 in Muslim-majority countries, the scheme allows pilgrims to fulfill all visa, customs and health requirements at their airport of origin, saving hours of waiting before and on arrival in the Kingdom.

The process begins with the issue of electronic visas and individual information collection, followed by streamlined passport procedures before departure.

Stickers are placed on luggage and passports containing information on the flight data and place of residence of each pilgrim. The tagging service is carried out by a specialized team working under the supervision of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

Teams at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah receive the luggage, which is then delivered to accommodation of the pilgrims.

The Ministry of Interior is implementing the Makkah Route initiative with several agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the General Authority of Civil Aviation, the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence, the Pilgrim Experience Program, and the General Directorate of Passports.

This year’s pilgrimage is expected to begin on or around June 14 and conclude on June 19.

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