Wahi, a Saudi Arabian virtual reality film, has made it possible to visit the Grand Mosque of Mecca through an intricate VR experience.
With Saudi Arabia having banned pilgrimages in early March, many people have had to cancel their trips to Mecca, with an uncertainty as to when the Hajj will be available again. The Saudi Arabian production ‘Wahi’ provides Muslims around the world with the chance to visit the Grand Mosque through their 9-minute virtual reality video. Wahi will take you through the mosque and its surrounding area, such as the Black Stone of Mecca and the circumambulation space, along with narration of the history of the city.
The video – best experienced using VR glasses, but which can also be watched without them if you’ve neglected to swipe some last time you went to the cinema – provides you with a 360° view of the mosque. “We were surprised to see that over the past month, more than 8 million people viewed the film,” director Almotaz Eljefri said.
In order to produce this film, the crew were granted support from the Saudi government, who allowed them to access Mecca for filming. Keeping in line with their lockdown rules, they made an exception in permitting the use of drones and helicopters within the mosque itself. “Because of the Coronavirus, the video has given many people – who are currently unavailable to visit the Grand Mosque – a chance to visit it through this technology," Eljefri said. "I believe that ‘Wahi’ will allow you to practice all your rituals this Ramadan from home.”
To begin exploring Mecca’s Grand Mosque from home, visit the WAHI channel on YouTube.