Ministryuses SMSto warnUmrahcompanies
JEDDAH, Jan 20, 2013 (Arab News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Ministry of Haj in Madinah is using the short message service (SMS) system on mobile phones this season to warn Umrah companies violating service standards, a local newspaper reported.
Umrah company owners and operators will immediately receive a text message if Haj officials discover any problems or receive complaints from pilgrims.
The ministry's branch in Madinah also embarked on an intensive vetting of Umrah companies and service providers before the season started this year. All companies had to make sure they would deliver promised packages and services.
Mohammad Al-Bejawi, director of the Madinah branch of the Ministry of Haj, said companies are obliged to provide the best quality services.
"We are very intent on communicating with all visitors and pilgrims to meet their needs and demands. We check on their accommodation and the services provided to them. We also make sure there are alternatives if any company fails to provide the services that have been agreed upon," said Al-Bejawi.
The administration is also tasked with controlling crowds on the grounds of the Prophet's Mosque.
Besides, there are plans in place to prevent people from overstaying their visas and tackle overcrowding at the city's airport.
He said the ministry wants to fulfill the aspirations of the government by providing the best possible services to the guests of God. He added that the branch staffers have acquired considerable experience over the years.
"We are seeking through our extended efforts here at the branch to ensure pilgrims can perform their rituals easily and in a safe and secure environment."
He said the Cabinet passed an executive order 14 years ago for the ministries of Haj, Interior and Foreign Affairs to be linked electronically with Umrah companies and service providers.
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