Mosque expected to accommodate an additional 1.2 million worshippers following completion of five projects
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has launched five projects to be implemented as part of the expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, it was reported.
The scope of the projects includes building courtyards, tunnels, buildings for service facilities and the first ring road, so as to accommodate increasing numbers of pilgrims to Makkah, the Saudi Gazette reported.
The works will be part of the wider SR100 billion ($26.6 billion) King Abdullah Expansion Project, which was divided into three sections: 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.
The mega-project is being supervised by the Ministry of Finance, and carried out by the Saudi Binladin Group.
The Grand Mosque currently occupies a total area 356,000sqm, and can accommodate 770,000 worshippers. After the expansion, the mosque will cover an area of 456,000sqm and accommodate an additional 1.2 million pilgrims, with courtyards able to hold over 250,000 worshipers, it was reported.
In addition, Saudi Finance Minister Dr Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf said the mosque will offer six floors for prayer, 680 electric escalators, 24 elevators for people with special needs, and 21,000 toilets and places of ablution, according to the Saudi Press Agency.