Sacred Chamber at the Prophet's Mosque in Medina
A brass barrier recently installed around the Sacred Chamber at the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. Image Credit: The Saudi news agency SPA

Cairo: Authorities in the Saudi city of Medina, home to Islam’s second holiest site, has launched a multilingual platform serving as a guide to visitors about the city’s various landmarks.

The Medina Platform, which can be uploaded on smart phones, guides pilgrims and visitors to major places, souqs, traditional crafts and popular dishes in the city that annually draws thousands of Muslims from inside and outside Saudi Arabia.

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The e-platform is designed to enrich visitors’ experience and provide a comprehensive user-friendly guide to the city’s main features in six lan-guages. In addition, the platform highlights the annual calendar of events taking place in Medina.

“The platform and its various apps on social media aims to build a dis-tinguished identity of Al Madinah Al Munawara (Medina) being a tourist and cultural destination,” the CEO of the city’s development authority Fahd bin Mohammed said.

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“Users have access in several languages and in an attractive and innova-tive way, thus making the platform a trustworthy and digital companion of the city’s visitors and residents,” he added.

Medina is famed for the Prophet’s Mosque that houses Al Rawda Al Sharifa, where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) is located. After performing Umrah or minor pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, in Mecca, many pilgrims would flock to Medina to offer prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque and visit other Is-lamic places in the city.

More than 280 million Muslims prayed at the Prophet’s Mosque last year, according to official figures. Saudi Arabia expects around 10 million Muslims from abroad to perform Umrah during the current season that began more than seven months ago.

The numbers of Umrah pilgrims hit record 13.5 million last year, Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al Rabiah said in January.