ThePlace: Grand Mosque in Makkah

Updated 16 June 2018

ThePlace: Grand Mosque in Makkah

  • It is home to the Holy Kaaba, which is the “Qibla,” toward which all Muslims face when praying
  • In the year 692, the mosque underwent its first extensive renovation

Worshippers flocked to Eid Al-Fitr prayers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah early on Friday morning. More than two million people gathered to attend the last night of the Qur’an recitation during the holy month of Ramadan. The Grand Mosque, also called Al-Haram Mosque, or the Sacred Mosque, is the largest in the world and is located in the heart of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. It is home to the Holy Kaaba, which is the “Qibla,” toward which all Muslims face when praying. An estimated 900,000 worshippers visit the mosque each day, with that number rising to 4 million during the Hajj season. The late King Abdullah initiated a major extension project in 2007 to raise the mosque’s capacity to two million. Long before that, in the year 692, the mosque underwent its first extensive renovation. Previously, the Grand Mosque was made up of an open space with the Kaaba at its center, but Abd AlMalik ibn Marwan, the fifth Umayyad caliph, asked for the mosque’s columns to be switched from wood to marble. Additionally, he ordered the addition of a minaret. The second major reconstruction of the mosque happened in 1570, during the Ottoman era, when calligraphy-inscribed domes were added, along with additional columns — still stand-out features of the mosque today. The Grand Mosque is also home to the Well of Zamzam, which Muslims have used since Prophet Ibrahim’s era, and still supplies many Muslims and pilgrims with water. The site also includes other important areas such as the Black Stone, the Station of Ibrahim, and the hills of Safa and Marwa.


First pilgrims leave under Eyab initiative

Updated 18 August 2019

First pilgrims leave under Eyab initiative

  • Al-Amoudi toured the exhibition dedicated to welcome Eyab’s beneficiaries

Saudi Minister of Transport and Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Dr. Nabeel Al-Amoudi, oversaw the departure of the first 

group of pilgrims under the Eyab initiative on Saturday together with GACA President Abdulhadi bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri.

Eyab seeks to improve services provided to pilgrims, with the authority aiming to enrich pilgrims’ experience at the Kingdom’s airports. It is expected to benefit 30,000 pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season.

Al-Amoudi toured the exhibition dedicated to welcome Eyab’s beneficiaries, inspected the services available and received a briefing from the initiative’s officials.

GACA started an experimental implementation of Eyab this year, aimed at pilgrims returning to Indonesia, India and Malaysia through Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport and Madinah’s Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Airport.