Seven projects worth $1.6bn for Saudi holy sites
Sanitation and slaughterhouse projects aimed at improving facilities
Seven new development projects, with a total cost of about $1.6bn (SAR6.1bn), will be implemented at the holy sites before the next Hajj season in October, Al-Madinah reports.
Habib Zain Al-Abdeen, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and head of the central administration for development projects at the holy sites, said over the next three years, 36,000 new toilets would be built.
“Two years after that 62,000 new toilets will be built in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah to put an end to the current shortage,” he explained.
He said each toilet would be accommodated in a two-storey building. A blue color would indicate the men’s rooms and pink for the women’s.
Overcrowding at the holy sites has increasingly become a problem during the Haj and the Saudi authorities have been encouraged to improve facilities for the millions of pilgrims who visit the sites every year.
As part of the new developments, Zain Al-Abdeen said the third floor of the Jamarat facility, where pilgrims throw stones at a wall to represent the stoning of the devil, would be connected to Al-Muaisim area near Mina. The Aziziyah district in Makkah would be linked to the second floor of the facility.
“The current slaughterhouse for cows and camels in Mina will be shifted to Al-Muaisim which will be linked by a road to Al-Sharaie district in Makkah,” Al Abdeen said.
The slaughter of an animal, called qurbani, marks Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at Allah's command.
The undersecretary said there are also projects to facilitate arrival to the train stations at the holy sites.
An estimated 2.5million people gathered in Makkah last year for The Hajj pilgrimage.