Saudi king inaugurates Grand Mosque expansion projects

This aerial image made from a helicopter shows Muslim pilgrims circling the the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. (File Photo: AP)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Saturday inaugurated five new projects part of the third expansion of the Grand Mosque.

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.

The king was briefed on the model of the entire expansion project, which aims to accommodate an additional 1.2 million pilgrims. The courtyards of the mosque’s new expansion aim to hold more than 250,000 worshipers.

The late King Abdullah had laid the foundation for the expansion of the Grand Mosque in a ceremony held in Makkah in August 2011.

The project is estimated to cost over SR 100 billion and the Ministry of Finance is supervising it. The total area of the existing mosque is 356,000 sq. meters accommodating 770,000 worshippers, while the new expansion covers an area of 456,000 sq. meters.

Saudi Finance Minister Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf said in a speech at the ceremony that the expansion projects includes a main building consisting of six floors for praying, 680 electric escalators and 24 elevators for the people with special needs and 21,000 toilets and places of ablution.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48