Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah yesterday approved the master plan for the largest expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque, after experts made necessary changes onto the plan as per his instructions.
Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said the mosque’s capacity would go up to more than 1.6 million worshippers after the project’s completion in two years. “The king has asked for its quick implementation,” he added.Al-Assaf said the areas to be included in the expansion project would be announced within a few days. King Abdullah was given a presentation on the final plan by Al-Assaf, Assistant Finance Minister Muhammad Al-Mazeed and other officials, who have been working on the project.
King Abdullah signed the project’s master plan and ordered its implementation within a period of two years. The king had asked for changes in the plan for the expansion of the mosque’s northern, eastern and western parts.In a brief statement on the occasion, the king thanked the Almighty for His blessings to carry out the mosque’s largest expansion that would benefit pilgrims, visitors and citizens.“May Allah help us to do more in the service of the religion and nation,” he added.
Al-Assaf said the king called for changes to the plan after he was given alternative ideas that go well with the expansion project, which has been backed by the grand mufti and members of the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars.According to informed sources, the project includes a helipad for airlifting patients to hospitals, construction of new roads separated from pedestrian pathways and building of 15,000 toilets. It will also include a tunnel for pedestrian traffic with escalators.s“It will also provide all requirements of the faithful who visit the mosque,” the source said. “There will be an advanced system for the disposal of garbage in addition to modern security and monitoring systems.” The project will apply modern construction systems and advanced technology, he added. – ArabNews