Makkah: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman launched on Saturday night five giant projects that are implemented as part of the third Saudi expansion of the Grand Mosque . The expansion projects include the King Abdullah Expansion Structure, courtyards, tunnels, buildings for service facilities and the first ring road.

The king was briefed on the model of the entire expansion project, which is tipped to be “the Project of the Century.”

The late King Abdullah laid the foundation stone for the expansion of the Grand Mosque at a ceremony held in Makkah on 19 Aug. 2011. The King Abdullah Expansion Project is estimated to cost over SR 100 billion. The total area of the existing mosque is 356,000 sq. meters accommodating 770,000 worshippers while the new expansion covering an area of 456,000 sq. meters will accommodate an additional 1.2 million faithful. Courtyards of the mosque’s new expansion can hold more than 250,000 worshipers.

The expansion project consisted of three parts: construction of new building; expansion and development of courtyards around the mosque, including walkways, tunnels and toilets; and development of service facilities for air-conditioning, electricity and drinking water. The Ministry of Finance is supervising the expansion project, which is being implemented by the Saudi Binladin Group.

Courtesy Saudi Gazzette