[Lights of India] " " The Largest Expansion Of The Islamic History " "
Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques
King Abdullah on
Friday launched The Largest Expansion
Of The Grand Mosque in History
Which Will increase The Mosque's Capcity
To More Than 2.5 Million Worshippers
And Cost SR 80 Billion.
A Model of The New Expansion Of The Grand Mosque
Construction work in Progress For The Historic Expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
Before laying The Foundation For The New Expansion,
King Abdullah inspected Models Of The Expansion Project
As Well As Other Development Projects
implemented in Makkah And Other Holy Sites.
King Abdullah Dedicated The New Expansion
To The Islamic world.
A documentary screened during the ceremony
said the expansion's main gate would be named after King Abdullah and
will have two minarets, bringing the mosque's total number of minarets to 11.
The new project, covering 400,000 sq.
meters in the northwest and northeast of the mosque, is the project of the century, said Muhammad Al-Khozaim, vice president of the Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques Affairs.
Al-Khozaim disclosed plans to expand the mataf (the circumambulation areas around the Holy Kaaba) and provide air-conditioning for all parts of the Grand Mosque, adding that the two schemes would be carried out shortly along with the new Haram expansion project. Abdul Mohsen Bin Humaid, director of projects, said the new project would be completed in a year and a half.
According to informed sources, the total area of the existing Haram Mosque is 356,000 sq. meters accommodating 770,000 worshippers while the new expansion covering an area of 456,000 sq. meters will accommodate 1.2 million faithful. A total of 11,000 workers, including engineers, technicians, masons and laborers, have been employed for the largest-ever expansion of the Grand Mosque in history.
The new project will comprise three parts: construction of a new building; expansion and development of courtyards around the mosque, including walkways, tunnels and toilets; and development of service facilities for air-conditioning, electricity and drinking water.
A 1,200-meter tunnel will be constructed from the end of the expansion passing through Jabal Hindi while another tunnel with a length of 1,100 meters will be built under Jabal Madafie. An emergency 700-meter tunnel crossing the other two tunnels will be constructed from Jabal Al-Kaaba.
King Abdullah also inaugurated the Makkah Tower Clock, considered the largest in the world; the Makkah Time, the newly expanded masaa (the running course between Safa and Marwa) increasing its capacity from 44,000 to 118,000 pilgrims per hour; the King Abdul Aziz endowment towers; the Jamrat Bridge complex in Mina; and the Mashair Railway linking the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifa as well as the sunshades around the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah by pressing buttons.
Nawaf Al-Jowharji, a member of Makkah Provincial Council, described the King Abdul Aziz endowment towers as one of the largest real estate projects in the Kingdom, adding that it would help accommodate about 50,000 pilgrims and visitors.
The expansion projects are designed to make Haj and Umrah pilgrimages more comfortable and safer in the face of a phenomenal rise in the number of pilgrims over the past few years. King Abdullah ordered the new expansion to accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims who come from different parts of the world. During the peak days of Ramadan, thousands of worshippers stand in the courtyards and streets around the mosque for taraweeh and qiyamullail prayers.
شكل الحرم بعد توسعة الملك عبد الله
An artist's impressions of the new expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah