Saudi Arabia to Host the First Ever Hajj Hackathon

Saudi Arabia is launching its first-ever Hajj Hackathon, starting from 1st August 2018. The 36-hour long event will be the largest ever hackathon held to date in the Kingdom and will conclude on August 3.

The Hackathon will be open to tech entrepreneurs, designers, developers and innovators from around the world. The aim behind this event is to come up with and build the technology that could help streamline the Hajj process where around 2 million Muslims perform the pilgrimage.

The Hackathon

The Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones has partnered with Google and Egypt’s RiseUp to organize the event. This is the first time that Saudi Arabia has looked up to technological innovators to improve the experience of pilgrims in the Holy Cities.


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As Muslims from around the world are aware, the Hajj pilgrimage is performed across different cities and involves a lot of moving and logistics problems. The participants of the hackathon will provide solutions to solve problems related to:

  • Food and beverage,
  • transportation, travel and accommodation arrangements,
  • crowd management and traffic control,
  • waste management,
  • housing and communication solutions.

The winner will be decided after judging against the following criteria:

  • design,
  • simplicity,
  • creativity,
  • impact.

The Prizes

Each of the above-mentioned variable will have five points. The competition has a prize pool of 2 million Saudi Riyal (~$533,000) as an equity investment in their product. The other prizes of the competition include free tickets to Google IO 2019 Developers Conference in the United States to be held in April-June next year and RiseUp Summit 2018. They will also get Google Home Mini with built-in Google Assistant.

As for the prizes:

  • The grand prize includes 1 million Saudi Riyal (~266,000) as 15% equity investment.
  • The first runner-up will get 500,000 Saudi Riyal (10% equity)
  • The second runner-up will receive 350,000 Saudi Riyal (7% equity).

You can apply for the Hackathon by visiting the following link. The organizers will be arranging the flights, accommodation, and visas for the ideas shortlisted for the Hackathon.


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