HomeHajjExpansion work still ongoing in Grand Mosque *Past expansion in review...

Expansion work still ongoing in Grand Mosque *Past expansion in review as Makkah deputy emir inspects progress of work





Prince Saud bin Mishaal, the newly appointed deputy emir of the Makkah region, has inspected the ongoing expansion works of the Grand Mosque in Makkah recently.

During the visit, he inspected the Third Saudi Expansion of the holy mosque and was briefed on the progress of the ongoing works. He was accompanied by Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, minister of Hajj and Umrah, and chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for the Care of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque Affairs.

Speaking on the occasion, Prince Saud said that his visit comes in implementation of the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, and with the follow-up of the Advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Emir of the Makkah region Prince Khalid Al-Faisal to inspect the progress of the largest ever expansion of the Grand Mosque so as to enable the pilgrims to perform their rituals in ease and comfort.

The visit of the deputy emir began with an inspection of the new doors of the Grand Mosque and he listened to a briefing on the development work that was carried out on a number of gates, including the Al-Fath Gate, the Umrah Gate, and the King Abdulaziz Gate, which was made of steel and the highest types of break-resistant iron, in addition to the walls that were made of high-quality stainless steel with a layer of bronze and plated with pure gold, as well as the installation of the two crescents for the two minarets of King Abdulaziz Gate. The minarets are 130 meters long while the height of the two crescents is approximately nine meters and the base is two meters wide for each crescent. They were made of carbon fiber, which is considered as highly durable, and they were coated with gilded glass.

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After that, Prince Saud inspected the suspended ceilings overlooking the mataf, and listened to a briefing on the work to expand the Saudi Corridor of mataf which was implemented to provide space for worshipers according to high-quality engineering standards and to support it with technical services and modern sound and lighting systems. The total expansion area covers 12,350 square meters with the capacity to accommodate 107000 people per hour.


The deputy emir visited the exhibition of the General Authority for the Care of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque Affairs, which introduces visitors to the services provided at the Two Holy Mosques and the efforts made by the Kingdom to serve the guests of God. He then headed to the eastern corridor, listening to details about the facilities of the Third Saudi Expansion, which has a total building area of 320,000 square meters and can accommodate approximately 300,000 worshipers.

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Prince Saud also visited the external squares that contain water fountains and places for ablution, with a total area of 180,000 square meters. He reviewed the services project, whose building area is 625,000 square meters, and includes prayer terraces on an area of 130,000 square meters. It accommodates 33,000 worshipers and contains a restroom, an emergency hospital, 272 escalators, 60 elevators, and offices for government agencies.

Details of the ongoing expansion

The “King Abdullah Haram Expansion” Project is the largest expansion of the Grand Mosque in its four-thousand-year history. The new expansion which is the third will comprise new pray-yards, walkways, tunnels and the development of existing service facilities to increase capacity of the mosque to more than 2 million people. The project consists of 18 Zones covering (Haram, Piazza & Bridges) with total up area 750,000 SQM.

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Past Expansion

When King Abdulaziz united the country and founded Saudi Arabia, he made the Two Holy Mosques a top priority and ensured they received special attention.

In 1926, he ordered a complete renovation to the Grand Mosque, including a directive to cover the entire floor with marble. A year later, according to the general presidency, he ordered marquees to be erected at the Mataf (circumambulation space) to protect worshippers from the sun’s heat. He also ordered that the Masa, the area between Safa and Marwah where pilgrims walk in what is known as Saee, be paved with stone.

When his son King Saud became monarch, the Grand Mosque covered approximately 28,000 square meters. In 1955, he launched a long-term expansion project that continued for nearly 10 years. The size of the Masa was increased, and an underground area and another floor were added.

Saud’s successor, King Faisal, continued the expansion and development work. The building surrounding the Maqam Ibrahim was removed to provide more space for worshippers while circumambulating the Kaaba.

After King Khalid took over in 1975, the Mataf area was expanded and the stone pavement of the Masa was replaced with Greek, heat-resistant marble so that worshippers could circle the Kaaba more comfortably, especially at noon.

On Sept. 14, 1988, King Fahd laid the foundation stone for the largest expansion of the Grand Mosque in 14 centuries. The project increased its size to 356,000 square meters, enough space for up to 1.5 million worshippers to comfortably perform their rituals. Two minarets were added to the existing seven.

The sixth Saudi leader, King Abdullah, who took the throne in 2005, initiated another major expansion project. It included architectural, technical, and security improvements. The capacity of the Mataf area was increased from about 50,000 people an hour to more than 130,000 to cope with the growing numbers of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.

The total space covered by the Grand Mosque and its open areas and facilities increased to 750,000 square meters, at a total cost of more than SR80 billion ($21.3 billion).

In 2015, King Salman launched five major projects designed to allow the mosque to accommodate nearly 2 million worshippers on a 1.5-million-square-meter site.

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