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Tired Hajj pilgrims can rest up in mobile nap pods

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Thomas Nye
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This year's tired Hajj pilgrims can stop to rest in sleek mobile nap pods.

The free sleep capsules are part of new measures Saudi Arabia rolled out this year to modernize the centuries-old annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and nearby holy sites.

The fiberglass pods measure a little less than 10 feet (3 meters) and just over 3.2 feet (a meter) high and feature a mattress, clean sheets and a large lit-up mirror.

Thankfully, they also have air conditioning, as temperatures in Mecca are currently hovering around 94 degrees Fahrenheit (34 degrees Celsius).

The Saudi charity Haji and Mutamer Gift Charitable Association, which provides services to Mecca visitors, imported the pods from Japan, where capsule hotels are common, as an economic solution for those wanting to take breaks in crowded public areas.

"The capsules work through a share economy, like bicycles that you can rent for an hour and then leave for someone else," Mansour al-Amer, head of the Haji and Mutamer Gift Charitable Association, told the Guardian.

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