MAKKAH: New sleeping pods, inspired by Japan’s famed ‘capsule rooms, have been introduced in Saudi Arabia in this Hajj of August 19, said a report.
A total of 18 to 24 capsules were made available for pilgrims to nap in for free for the next few days, said a report in Mubasher.
Less than three metres long and just over one metre high, each fiber glass pod, imported from Japan at cost of around $1,114 each, featured a mattress, clean sheets, air-conditioning and a large, well-lit mirror.
The nap pods will provide a solution in coming years for pilgrims who cannot afford to book hotels on site but need a quick rest during hajj, the report said.
Each napper will have a three-hour access to the pods. When they wake up for prayer time, the capsule rooms will be sterilised before handing it over to the next pilgrim.
Earlier this year, the kingdom implemented the trial run of 12 pods by allowing around 60 people to use each pod every day during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, it said.
To cater to the mounting demands of hajj, the government has also introduced apps for on-the-spot translation and emergency medical care.