JEDDAH: P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR | ARAB NEWS STAFF
Thursday 11 July 2013
A full-fledged pilgrim city with state-of-the-art facilities will be set up in Makkah, similar to the one planned for Madinah, as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to extend world-class services to the millions of pilgrims who come for Haj and Umrah from around the world.
Haj Minister Bandar Hajar has presented a proposal to Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal for establishing a massive city in Makkah to receive and see off pilgrims.
The city will have offices for all foreign Haj missions in addition to various services required by pilgrims.
It will also have housing units, offices of Umrah companies, museums, exhibition centers and heritage markets.
A committee comprising representatives of government departments has been set up to study all aspects of the project.
The ministry is currently looking for a suitable place for the project, said Hajar.
The final plan will be presented to the governor after the completion of studies, he said.
The government recently unveiled plans to establish a pilgrim city in Madinah on an area of 1.6 million square meters along Hijrah Road with modern facilities and public transport systems to house 200,000 people.
Mohammed Shaker Dahlawi, a consultant engineer with Saudi Railway Co., said the new pilgrim city with world-class facilities would bring about remarkable improvement in pilgrim services.
The project is significant as the number of pilgrims coming to Makkah snowballs year after year.
“Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah wants to extend superior services to the guests of God by carrying out giant projects such as the haram expansion and Haramain Railway,” Dahlawi told Arab News.
Abdul Rahman Yousuf, a Saudi businessman, also welcomed the project saying it would further improve Haj and Umrah services.
He called for an underground railway system to connect the city with the Grand Mosque.