A total of 2,950 participants attend the three-day event which aims to come up with high-tech solutions to make Hajj pilgrimage a more efficient and enjoyable experience
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, August 2 (CIC) – With 2,950 developers in attendance, the Hajj Hackathon in Jeddah officially broke the Guinness World Record for most participants in a software development jam in a Hackathon.
Guinness World Records announced that this week’s Saudi Arabia-based event — which is the largest tech competition ever staged in the Middle East — broke India’s 2012 India record for the most simultaneous participants in a software development jam in a Hackathon, which had a total of 2,577 participants.
“The most participants in a hackathon was achieved by Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones (Saudi Arabia), in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 1 August 2018,” read the Guinness World Records certificate.
Saud Al-Qahtani, the adviser to the Royal Court, and founder of the Saudi Federation for Cyberescurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP), which organised Hajj Hackathon, received the Guinness Certificate from Guinness World Records’ Arbitrator, Ahmed Jabr, on Wednesday.
”The Kingdom’s entry into the World Records through the Hackathon of Hajj confirms the aspirations of the Saudi youth for their country to be the gateway to technology in the region, pointing out that this is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, as an ambitious vision that takes the Kingdom to a quantum leap in all aspects of life,” Al-Qahtani said in a statement.
Technology legends Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc., and Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, joined the thousands of tech acolytes on Tuesday night at the official opening ceremony of the first Hajj Hackathon, held in Jeddah. Computer and information-technology enthusiasts from more than 100 countries made the journey to the first Hajj Hackathon, held at the International Exhibition and Convention Centre in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah. The three-day gathering is ultimately charged with coming up with a way to employ technology to make the Hajj a more efficient and enjoyable experience for all involved.
In the statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Al-Qahtani, who is also supervisor general of the Center for Studies and Information Affairs in Saudi Arabia, extended his thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for the great support for Saudi youth in all fields.
The Kingdom’s entry into the Guinness World Records is a great success for the first session of the Hajj Hackathon, which has attracted male and female developers from different countries, including the Kingdom, GCC countries and the world, as Google supported the event and held several training workshops for participants, the statement added.
The event’s roots are in Saudi Vision 2030’s guidelines to put Saudi tech talent in touch with and on an equal platform with their international peers. The hackathon has attracted leading programmers from around the globe ready to tackle the challenge of producing creative and innovative solutions to the problems inherent in the arrival of approximately 2 million pilgrims annually to perform the Hajj. Hajj will take place from August 19-24.
In the Hajj Hackathon competition, entrepreneurs and technology experts focus on areas such as crowd management, food, health, finance, traffic control, travel, housing, communications, and waste management, among others, seeking solutions to serve a pop-up city of about 2 million people. Entries will be judged based on creativity, design, simplicity, and impact.
SAFCSP is offering cash prizes to the top three finishers, amounting to a total of SAR2,000,000, to transform their ideas into application-based solutions. The first winner will receive SAR1,000,000. The second prize carries a reward of SAR500,000 and the third SAR350,000. Additionally, SAR150,000 will be given as a prize for excellence.