PICTURE: Satellite view of Makkah Grand Mosque during Eid Al-Adha
The satellite image was captured by UAE's KhalifaSat which was developed at Dubai's Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre
UAE’s KhalifaSat — developed at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai by Emirati engineers — captured an image of the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Makkah showing hundreds and thousands of Hajj pilgrims at the site on the first day of Eid Al-Adha.
According to UAE’s state-held news agency Wam, KhalifaSat provides satellite pictures with specifications that meet the highest international standards in space images.
The Wam report stated that the satellite images help government and private sector organisations monitor environmental changes, detect the effects of global warming, ensure urban planning and management, and aid relief efforts at times of natural disasters.
On 11 August, 2019, Saudi General Authority for Statistics revealed that nearly 2.5 million pilgrims had arrived in the kingdom for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. About 1.9 million pilgrims came from outside the kingdom and 634,379 from within the country, 67% of whom represented expats.
Phase 3 expansion works on the Makkah Grand Mosque increased its area to 1.5km², and involved five major projects including the extension of the mosque’s main building, constructing an arena, a pedestrian tunnel, upgrading the central service station, and developing the first ring road surrounding the mosque.