Saudi Grand Mosque expansion projects launched
King Salman launched five projects under the third phase of expanding Saudi Arabia's Grand Mosque
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud launched five projects, to be implemented as a part of the third phase of expanding the Kingdom's Grand Mosque in Mecca, on Saturday (11 July, 2015).
The expansion projects comprise the King Abdullah Expansion Structure; courtyards; tunnels; buildings for service facilities; and, the first ring road.
The development is touted to be the 'project of the century', local daily The Saudi Gazette reported.
The late King Abdullah had laid the foundation stone for the expansion of the Grand Mosque at a ceremony held in Makkah on 19 August, 2011. The King Abdullah Expansion Project is estimated to cost over $26.6bn (SAR100bn).
Currently, the total area of the mosque is 35.6ha, and accommodates up to 770,000 worshippers.
The expansion covers an area of 45.6ha, and is expected to accommodate up to 1.2 million further worshippers.
Courtyards of the expanded mosque alone are expected to house at least 250,000 worshipers.
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance is supervising the expansion project, which is being implemented by the Saudi Binladin Group.