Utilizing Multi-Cultural Crisis Communication To Manage The Hajj

Khalid Aljahel, Wayne State University


Every year the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is host to over 2 million Muslims from countries around the world who come for the Hajj Pilgrimage, one of the largest multicultural/multilingual gatherings in the world. Over the past 20 years KSA has experienced a number of crisis events during Hajj which have led to the death of numerous pilgrims and thousands of injuries. To decrease the likelihood of a crisis occurring, KSA has undertaken extensive renovation projects to its infrastructure and put considerable efforts into its crisis response strategies. This research employs a qualitative research methodology, which combines unstructured interviews with 10 Hajj officials with scholarly sources and news media, to examine KSA crisis communication following the crane collapse and stampede, both of which took place during the Hajj in 2015. The research concludes with recommendations for improving crisis communication during the Hajj.