Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has been on the throne for seven years now. Saudi media is pretty busy writing up encomiums for the changes and developments he has pushed. One, particularly noteworthy, has been the expansion of the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Arab News reports that the most recent expansions are greater than all expansions before. Ever-increasing numbers of pilgrims seek to take part in the annual Haj, already the greatest annual religious gathering in the world.
Credit for biggest expansion of Haram goes to the king
Jeddah: Badr Al-Qahtani
The biggest expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah was carried out during the reign of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
In 2011, the Haram’s capacity was raised to accommodate 1.6 million worshippers, one-and-half times more than all the expansions put together in the mosque’s history. This latest expansion cost SR 80 billion and is part of Makkah’s many development projects, including work on the mosque’s central zone and surrounding areas.
Speaking on the seventh anniversary of King Abdullah’s accession to throne, Dr. Muhammad Bin Nasser, vice president of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs, said developing the mosque’s area is an ongoing project.
“Every year the Grand Mosque witnesses more development in the services provided to visitors. This year, the King Abdullah Expansion Project is being carried out.
It includes the latest and most sophisticated electrical and mechanical systems. The expansion is linked to the first Saudi expansion and to the masaa (running area between Safaa and Marwaa) via several bridges. A new system of elevators and escalators is being installed,” he said.