Saudi king inaugurates Grand Mosque expansion projects

The expansion project once done will be able to accommodate an additional 1.2 million pilgrims

Web Desk July 12, 2015
Minarets and construction cranes are seen during the expansion of the Grand Mosque. PHOTO: REUTERS

Taking steps to cater to the growing needs of Muslim worshippers in the sacred country, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz inaugurated on Saturday five projects to expand the Grand Mosque, also known as the Masjid al-Ḥaram.

Millions of people travel to Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islamic principles, to pay their visit to the Grand Mosque and ‘Kabaa’ which is widely revered in the Muslim world. The number of the pilgrims, as the pattern shows, keeps increasing year by year.

The expansion projects include the King Abdullah Expansion Structure, courtyards, tunnels, buildings for service facilities and the first ring road, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

Read: Workers in a race against time to complete expansion work on Makkah's Grand Mosque

It is worth remembering that the late King Abdullah had initiated the project and laid the foundation for the Grand Mosque’s expansion in Makkah in August 2011.

The expansion project once done will be accommodating an addition of 1.2 million pilgrims. Whereas, the courtyards of the mosque’s aim to accommodate around 250,000 worshippers. The king was also briefed about the model.

Read: 8 million visit Makkah during first 10 days of Ramazan

The project’s cost, which will be supervised by the KSA Ministry of Finance, is estimated to be over SR100 billion. Currently, the existing area of the Grand Mosque is said to be 356,000 square metres, which will become 456,000 square meters once the expansion project is done.

The article originally appeared on Al Arabiya News