Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul-Aziz, the Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard launched six major development projects worth SR35 billion around the Haram Mosque in Makkah.
The projects, including expansion of the mosque’s northern courtyard and construction of residential towers, are aimed at providing more housing and prayer facilities for pilgrims.
The projects include the SR12 billion Jabal Omar residential towers, one of the largest ventures aimed at developing areas surrounding the Holy Haram. Spread over an area of 230,000 square meters, the project includes five-star hotels, commercial centers and prayer facilities for 200,000 worshippers.
Other projects dedicated by the Crown Prince were: Development of Ajyad General Hospital, which is located close to the mosque, and construction of another road to Haram parallel to the existing road from the Jeddah-Makkah Expressway. The new five-km road, to be named after King Abdul-Aziz, is designed to benefit pilgrims.
Crown Prince Abdullah earlier inspected the development plans set out by the Makkah Development Authority including those for the development of Shamiya, Jabal Khandama and Jabal Al-Kaaba areas around the Haram.
The new projects come as part of the government’s efforts to enhance housing and prayer facilities for the millions of pilgrims who come for Hajj and Umrah from all over the world.
The projects are also aimed at developing areas in the central region of the holy city after removing old and dilapidated buildings. They will also provide secure transport systems and reduce traffic congestions in the city.
The total area to be developed is estimated at 587,250 square meters, with 90 percent being old buildings. The expansion of the mosque’s northern courtyard itself will cover an area of 1.2 million square meters between the mosque and the second ring road to the north, Masjid Al-Haram Street to the east and Jabal Al-Kaaba Street to the west.
Abdul Rahman Faqeeh, Chairman of Makkah Construction Company, said the Jabal Omar project would provide more than 25,000 jobs for Saudis. Jabal Omar offers residential facilities for 100,000 people, air-conditioned prayer facilities for 100,000 and open prayer space for 120,000, he added.
Efforts are under way to establish a joint stock firm named Jabal Omar Development Company to implement the project.
The company will have a capital of SR3.5 billion including SR1.1 billion as shares of real estate owners in the area. Part of its shares worth SR850 million will be floated for public subscription. The value of real estate to be acquired for the project is estimated at SR4.3 billion.
Referring to the construction of a new road parallel to the road linking the Jeddah-Makkah Expressway with Haram, Faqeeh said it would start from the end of the first ring road behind the Makkah Construction Company’s residential-cum-commercial complex, pass through Jabal Omar to reach the road parallel to Um Al-Qura Road to join the expressway.
The new road will have a 1,000-meter-long tunnel and will pass by Mawarika, Tandbawe, Jabal Ghurab, Rusaifa and Zahareen.
Crown Prince Abdullah launched the projects worth SR30 billion in Makkah, including expansion of the Haram Mosque’s courtyard, development of Ajyad Hospital and construction of new residential towers in Jabal Omar and Shamiya.
Crown Prince Abdullah inspected the 50-year development plan for Makkah prepared by the Makkah Development Authority and laid the foundation stone for the SR12 billion Jabal Omar project.
He launched new residential and commercial projects in Jabal Khandama and Jabal Kaaba. Work has already been started on some of these projects while the remaining will be carried out within a timeframe, Al-Riyadh Arabic daily said quoting informed sources.
The new projects come as part of the government’s efforts to enhance facilities for the welfare and security of millions of pilgrims who come for Hajj and Umrah from all over the world.
Location: Saudi Arabia
LATEST CONTINUATION UPDATE from our previous article : A Journey to Hajj (Pilgrimage) Part III: Past, Present and now… The Future. 21st Century Mecca?