Construction work resumes at Grand Mosque after Haj break

Makkah, KSA

Construction work at the Grand Mosque resumed on Sunday after a two month break for the Haj season. “The project aims to expand the mataaf (the area where pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba) to fit more than 105,000 pilgrims an hour,” a source from the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques said. “The project is in its third and final stage, and first began in 2013 when the areas of Al-Safa, Al-Fatih Gate and Al-Umrah Gate were expanded.”

The source also said the first floor of the mataaf is currently being finalized. “The workers are currently installing marble flooring on the first floor of the mataaf and the electro-mechanic infrastructure,” they said. “Lanes for disabled pilgrims are also being finalized. The workers are also putting up new columns by the gates and finalizing the Abbasid Alley at the northern area of the mosque.”

Workers are also installing the ceilings of the mataaf floors. “There will be a slope from the first floor of the mataaf to the ground floor to facilitate the navigation between the floors,” they said. The source also said the Ottoman Alley will be rebuilt by the mataaf and it will have three gates.

The project also includes the expansion of the gates of Al-Masaa (where pilgrims perform sai — hastening between the hillocks of Safa and Marwa — ritual).

(Courtesy- Saudi Gazette)