By ARAB NEWS
Published: Aug 12, 2011 02:04 Updated: Aug 12, 2011 02:04
JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah will lay the foundation stone to the Makkah Haram expansion works in a few days. The project is called the King Abdullah Expansion of the Makkah Haram.
The king will also open a number of other development projects that aim to improve the safety and comfort of pilgrims at the two holy mosques and holy sites.
The projects currently underway at the Haram include the expansion of the northern courtyard of the Grand Mosque, the Masaa (the running course between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah,) the King Abdul Aziz Endowment Project, the King Abdul Aziz Road, the Mashair Railway connecting Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, the Haramain Railway to link the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, the Central Zone Development project and new circular roads in addition to flood drainage projects in the holy sites and the Al-Jamarat complex, Al-Riyadh daily reported on Thursday.
The expansion works at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah include the expansion of the courtyards around the mosque in all directions so that its capacity climbs to 350,000 people.
The huge projects implemented at the orders of the king include the development of the Al-Jamarat Bridge with the aim of increasing its capacity to 5 million pilgrims and the Mashair Railway that is scheduled to become fully operational before the beginning of the upcoming Haj in November. The metro service will operate 17 trains with 12 coaches in each train. A train will carry 3,000 pilgrims.
The development of the King Abdul Aziz Endowment project comprises six residential towers and a five-star hotel. The frontal towers of the towers are 28 stories high while the rear towers are 35 stories. Its side towers are 45 stories high while the hotel tower is 60 stories. The entire complex with 11,000 rooms and suites will accommodate 35,000 pilgrims.
The water management project in the holy sites includes construction of several feeder canals to gather floodwater from nearby mountains and a number of check dams and subterranean ducts.
The canals will start from the foot of the Eastern Ras Al-Shoayb mountain and will extend to the border of Mina at the King Fahd Tunnel.