Kaaba doors cost millions to renovate and install
In 1977, King Khalid noticed scratches at the bottom of the door while he was praying inside the Holy Mosque
The cost of renovating and installing the door of the Kaaba and the Tobah door inside the Kaaba is estimated at SR13.4 million ($3.6 million) as stated by a General Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques’ report, Makkah daily reported.
According to the report, the Kaaba door was first renovated during the reign of King Abdulaziz in 1944. Its second renovation was during the reign of King Khalid and King Fahd.
In 1977, King Khalid noticed scratches at the bottom of the door while he was praying inside the Holy Mosque. He immediately ordered for the door to be remade and for Tobah door to be installed inside the Kaaba and coated with a golden layer. King Fahd supervised the project and completed it during his reign.
The report stated the Kaaba door was redesigned after King Abdulaziz’ reign. The door was made out of 2.5cm-thick aluminum and measured 3.10 meters in height. The door was coated with silver plates dipped in gold. King Fahd ordered for the highest technology to be used in designing the skeleton of the door so it functions without needing a lot of maintenance.
What stands out about the design is its Arabic and Islamic embroideries. The door has 15 of the 99 names of Allah embroidered in Thuluth (an Arabic calligraphy style). The embroidery was done in gold and silver and it starts from the edges of the door and continues to its center. In the middle, there are circles containing Qur’anic verses, Islamic phrases and historical annotations. Even the door’s lock is embroidered.
The best and most prestigious designers and calligraphers worked together to exhaust the aesthetic potential of the Kaaba’s door.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on April 6, 2015.