Hajj crowd management via a mobile augmented reality application: a case of The Hajj event, Saudi Arabia

Owaidah, Almoaid A. (2015) Hajj crowd management via a mobile augmented reality application: a case of The Hajj event, Saudi Arabia. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Hajj event is considered as one of the Islamic pillars that each Muslim, who could afford its’ expenses and are well bodied, should perform its’ rituals at least once in a lifetime. Therefore, they could travel to Mecca city, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj rituals. This holy city hosts this event annually in the last month of the Arabic calendar, which is Dhul Hijjah, and it lasts for 6 days. In addition, those Muslim visitors or pilgrims are obligated to be accommodated at Hajj ritual places, which are Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah. However, in the last ten years, it was noticed that the Hajj events are crowded every year. Therefore, Hajj crowd management is being a complex task, due to the huge number of the pilgrims as they are crowded at the Hajj ritual places. This huge number is causing many problems, and Hajj authorities are facing difficulties in managing those crowded pilgrims. As a result, this research focuses on three main problems that occur at Hajj events. First, difficulties in organizing the crowds’ movements of the pilgrims, as Hajj events host enormous number of pilgrims in limited geographical spaces at the ritual places. This problem leads to overcrowdings, congestions and stampedes. Second, the pilgrims could get lost at Hajj ritual places, especially when they are moving between these places. Third, lack of directional information and guidance for those lost pilgrims. This problem leads to difficulties in finding their groups at the ritual sites, because the huge number of the pilgrims. Thus, this research proposes to deploy a technology, such as a Mobile Augmented Reality application. This application would assist the Hajj authorities (staff and operators) in managing the pilgrims’ movements between the ritual places, and to provide directions to the lost pilgrims. In addition, it would help those lost pilgrims by alerting, and sending their location information to their group guide. On the other hand, the research literature review covers previous studies about the Hajj crowd management, as it is divided into two perspectives. The theoretical perspective, which explains the crowd management steps that should be followed and applied, as these steps would help the Hajj authorities to succeed in crowd management at Hajj events. The practical perspective presents some studies that are related to the Hajj events. Those studies offered some solutions to manage crowded pilgrims, to avoid overcrowdings and stampedes, and to identify, locate and guide lost pilgrims. The solutions were Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) deceives and monitoring cameras. In addition, this research conducted and distributed questionnaires on 104 respondents. They were selected as they are related to Hajj events. The results of this research method confirmed that the Hajj events face problems. For example, overcrowdings, congestions and stampedes that occur at the ritual places, due to lack of pilgrims organization in limited spaces at these places. In addition, foreign pilgrims face difficulties in guidance, due to lack of directional information, and they could get lost from their groups at the Hajj events. In addition, the respondents suggested using technology to assist Hajj authorities in Hajj crowd management. Therefore, deploying MAR application is suggested, as a solution to solve or at least reduce the Hajj problems. The proposed application could help the Hajj authorities to manage the crowded pilgrims at the Hajj ritual places as this research illustrates two scenarios in Hajj crowd management. In conclusion, this application is beneficial and significant in crowd management at Hajj events, as it could provide instant information using high-speed process in sending and receiving information. In addition, the information about the pilgrims’ movements could be gathered, presented on smart devices and shared between applications’ users. Those users will be the Hajj staff on the ground and the Hajj operators in the control room of Hajj operations.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Crowd management, Hajj, augmented reality, mobile application
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Johnson, Professor Christopher
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Mr. Almoaid Owaidah
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6330
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 May 2015 08:44
Last Modified: 21 May 2015 15:28
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6330

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