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Electric wheelchairs in demand at Haram

MAKKAH – As the new season of Umrah gets underway, there has been a growing stream of pilgrims using electric wheelchairs at the Grand Mosque.
However, the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques has taken precautionary measures to ensure pilgrim safety is not jeopardized by the use of electric wheelchairs.
The wheelchairs can only be used for Tawaf and Sa’ee purposes and children are not allowed to ride on the sides of the wheelchair.

Pilgrims must present their ID at the second floor near Al-Safa before they can rent an electric wheelchair. They are required to pay between SR50-SR100 to use the wheelchair for Sa’ee and Tawaf through allotted lanes in the first floor, Al-Riyadh newspaper reported Thursday.

Pilgrims say that because of the introduction of electric wheelchairs, the ritual of Sa’ee has become more comfortable.
Saeed Al-Jifal, an Emirati, said: “It’s easy to drive the wheelchair and it’s good for old and obese people.”

Arshad Ali from Turkey believes the price for the wheelchair is very reasonable.

“I’ve performed Umrah every year for the past 11 years. This is a great service. I was worried about how my old mother would perform Tawaf and Sa’ee. When I saw the electric wheelchair, I was at ease, and so was my mother,” Ali said. – SG

Source: SaudiGazette