Saudi Post provides new services for pilgrims

22.05.2019 - Each year, millions of people from around the globe descend on Mecca, the holy sites and Medina in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj, an Islamic pilgrimage. Saudi Post has introduced a plan to serve the influx of pilgrims.

During the Hajj period, Saudi Post pulls out all the stops to provide postal services close to the pilgrimage sites.  In general, all services are provided by permanent offices for pilgrims, augmented by a number of temporary offices added for the Hajj season. Saudi Post also provides specialized services linked to the religious event including parcel-sending services; fund transfers; the sale of documents for certain religious rites and sale of commemorative postage stamps.

In 2018, Saudi Post set up a pilgrimage business centre, tasked with overseeing activities relating to the Hajj and Umrah, a pilgrimage taken outside the normal Hajj period. This centre carried out the initial planning for the Hajj, including putting in place a detailed programme for the eight weeks leading up to the beginning of the season.

Under this programme, some 300 different tasks were performed, enabling the Post to enter the season fully prepared and meticulously organized, with 834 postal staff – 535 in Mecca and 299 in Medina – mobilized.  In addition, 27 temporary offices were set up around Mecca, the holy sites and Medina.  The Post also made 100 cars, 79 motorcycles, 355 communications devices, 200 mobile sales points and 600 fixed sales points available to the pilgrims.

Partnering on parcels

The Post worked with other postal operators around the world to promote specialized Hajj and Umrah parcel products created for the convenience of pilgrims. Reasonably priced weight categories developed for the products, advance sender labels with barcodes and a special parcel pick-up service meant pilgrims could access affordable and efficient services during the busy period. 

Saudi Post President Anef Bin Ahmed Abanomai explained these partnerships aim to streamline relationship between other countries and facilitate the Hajj experience for visitors. He also added that Saudi Post would “welcome any cooperation with other countries”.

Electronic services

Saudi Post has also capitalized on its national addressing system to develop a smartphone application providing locations for Hajj and Umrah sites. This enables pilgrims to find their way around and reach their destinations with ease. 

The app covers Mecca, Medina, the holy sites, the road network, landmarks, public services operating at the Hajj and Umrah sites, and accommodation for pilgrims. The application is available in 16 languages.

Saudi Post also made SIM cards for its subsidiary Lebara available to pilgrims at its sale points.

This article first appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of UPU’s Union Postale magazine. Subscribe now to be the first to receive content like this.

Industry
 

Comments

Comments (1)

  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
    Test comment.

Write new comment

CAPTCHA image for SPAM prevention If you can't read the word, click here.