x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Travel news: An app for Hajj

A new app for travellers on the Hajj or Umrah and bursaries for a diving study in Oman

Progress for pilgrims with new travel app

A new iPhone app developed in the UAE, which guides travellers performing the Haj or Umrah in Saudi Arabia, was launched via iTunes this week. UmrahSalam was developed by the Dubai-based Hajjnet, and could assist millions of pilgrims. Although there are other apps dedicated to the Haj, Ali Dabaja, founder and CEO of Hajjnet, argues that his is the most comprehensive. "There was a tremendous need for an app that could support pilgrims from the moment they set about preparing throughout every step of the pilgrimage," he says. Features include prompts to read or hear the appropriate duas or prayers at the right time and place; counting the number of tawaf as they are being performed; and full camera, map and social media integration. UmrahSalam is available for a limited time as a free download on the iPhone, and soon on Android. Currently, it's only available in English but, according to Hajjnet, an Arabic version will be launched shortly. Visit www.hajjnet.com/umrah for more details.

Reef diving bursaries up for grabs in Oman

British nationals under the age of 25 who are students or graduates in life sciences are eligible to apply for a bursary to take part in a Biosphere Expeditions project to protect coral reefs in Musandam, Oman. In partnership with the Anglo-Omani Society, two places are available to applicants who can demonstrate a genuine interest both in wildlife conservation and Oman. They must also be a certified diver to Padi Open Water or equivalent, and are required to document their experience. They will receive free participation in the expedition and a travel bursary to allow them to explore Oman after the project, and limited expenses for travel within Oman. Two places are also available for Omani nationals and residents, with different terms and conditions. For more details visit www.biosphere-expeditions.org/placements. The closing date for applications is September 1.


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