Watch: Guidance robot service for pilgrims at Makkah’s Grand Mosque

Riyadh: Artificial intelligence (AI) robot, a new initiative at Makkah’s Grand Mosque that guides and assists pilgrims in obtaining answers to their questions, local media reported on Friday.

The 21-inch touch screen, equipped with four wheels, is designed to provide advice to pilgrims, including guidance on how to perform the rituals, as well as provide fatwas on legal issues for performing Umrah.

The robots also speak eleven languages – including Chinese, Urdu, Russian, English, French, Farsi, Bengali, Arabic, Hausa, and Turkish. It can even help connect them with sheiks and scholars in different languages.

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Sheikh Badr bin Abdullah Al-Furaih, deputy president for guidance affairs, told Arab News that the robot is commonly asked between 100 to 150 questions daily regarding Umrah rituals during Ramzan.

The majority of people interacting with the robot are Saudi, Syrian, Pakistani, or Indian.

The holy month of Ramzan is usually the peak season for Umrah at the Grand Mosque in Makkah Al Mukarramah, Saudi Arabia.

Close to two million Muslims from around the world have performed Umrah at the Grand Mosque since the start of the holy month of Ramzan on April 2, 2022.

Around 8 million liters of the holy Zamzam water has been distributed at the Grand Mosque in the first 10 days of Ramzan.

Saudi authorities have recently eased measures for performing Umrah as the kingdom has largely relaxed restrictions against COVID-19.

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