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Saturday, 24 August 2019

Egypt begins biometric fingerprinting, retinal scans for pilgrims ahead of Islamic hajj

Egypt has said that the biometric data will be used to check on amenities provided to pilgrims by companies responsible for travel and accommodation

Ahram Online , Sunday 9 Jun 2019
Hajj in Mecca
File Photo: Muslim pilgrims on hajj perform the final walk (Tawaf al-Wadaa) around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Mecca on November 30, 2009. (Photo: AFP)
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Egypt is set to begin Sunday for a second year implementing biometric fingerprinting and retinal scans for state sponsored pilgrims looking to travel to Saudi Arabia for the Islamic hajj pilgrimage this year.

In an official statement, Egypt’s Ministry of Solidarity said the scans will begin Sunday and run till next Thursday in light of rules set by Saudi Arabia for the Islamic pilgrimage, which stipulate the necessity of biometric data to grant hajj visas for the pilgrimage that will start 9 August till 14 August.

This is the second year the system will be applied, since first being established in 2018. Egypt has said that the biometric data will be used to check on amenities provided to pilgrims by companies responsible for travel and accommodation.

There is no official number of Egyptian pilgrims who travel for the five-day pilgrimage, which sees millions of Muslims from around the world gather in Mecca every year.

Saudi authorities say more than two million Muslims participated in 2018’s hajj season.

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