Folding structure at Grand Mosque will provide shade
The northern courtyard of the Grand Mosque in Mecca will be home to the world’s largest folding umbrella, reports The Saudi Gazette.
Work has begun on what will be the first of eight high-tech giant umbrellas, along with 54 smaller ones, to be installed over the next six months.
The larger umbrellas will be 45 metres in height, will weigh 16 tonnes and will give 2,400 square metres of shade when open, it was reported.
The German-manufactured canopies will consist of a giant clock, screens displaying guidelines for worshippers, air-conditioners, and surveillance cameras.
The infrastructure work for the canopies has already started. Around 25 engineers, specialist technicians, and safety experts from Germany will supervise the installation process and electronic operating mechanism.
The 54 smaller umbrellas that will also be installed in the northern courtyard will cover a total area of 19,200 square meters.
Additionally, 122 benches for worshippers as well as service buildings are also being constructed.
The shaded area will have the capacity to accommodate 400,000 worshippers and will stretch from the King Fahd Expansion structure to the King Abdullah Expansion structure of the mosque when completed.
The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques is supervising the project, in cooperation with specialists from the Ministry of Education and the contracting company.