4 million pilgrims to perform Haj 2040

Updated 18 August 2012

4 million pilgrims to perform Haj 2040

More than 4 million pilgrims will be accommodated for Haj in 2040 with the completion of all planned expansion projects, according to the development plan for Makkah.
“The number of pilgrims, which will exceed the current maximum capacity of 2.8 million, will pose a challenge, particularly at the holy sites because the nature of the rituals require all pilgrims to be present at the same time,” Al-Eqtisadiah daily reported, quoting from a comprehensive plan for the development of Makkah and the holy sites.
The massive movement of pilgrims from one point of ritual to another is one of the major challenges that the plan faces.
The Council of Ministers recently approved a SR 62 billion plan to modernize the transportation system in Makkah, including the building of a bus network and metro system. Four metro lines with a total length of 182 km will be built across the city, with 88 stations.
Studies on the use of land at holy sites (Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah) have shown that 28.7 percent of Mina land that can be developed is used for roads, while 57.6 percent is used for pilgrim tents, and the remaining 13.7 percent for other utilities and services. In Muzdalifah, 23.9 percent is used for roads and 13.3 percent is occupied by tents attached to Mina, while 49.7 percent is waiting places and 13.1 percent is used for other services.
As for Arafat, 13.6 percent of the land is used for roads while 69.4 percent for pilgrims to worship and 17 percent for other uses.
A major challenge for the planning committee is that all these locations have spatial limitations, while the number of pilgrims grows annually.
“The transport system at the holy sites will be effective only if there are sufficient provisions for pedestrians, with tunnels that connect various parts of the holy sites and Makkah. Only then will roads and other modes of transportation in these crowded areas be effectively used. Without provisions for the heavy pedestrian movement, even ambulances, garbage trucks and catering vehicles will be delayed indefinitely,” a planning expert said.
The present transportation system is not integrated and therefore performs poorly.
“Movement throughout the holy sites is complex, with security limitations related to some rites. No doubt the construction of tunneled roads linking all locations to the holy sites will remove obstacles for surface transportation, particularly for emergency situations, security and civil defense vehicles, and transporting food and garbage,” the expert said.
According to analytical studies, the maximum capacity for the Arafat plane is 4 million pilgrims, with 3.6 square meters of space for each pilgrim. The same number of people could be accommodated in Mina with additional construction on the mountain slopes. With the completion of a number of courtyards and expansion works, the maximum capacity of the Grand Mosque will also reach 4 million. The maximum limit of the public transportation system and pedestrian movement will also reach the same limit.
The planning experts also stressed the need a have a 10 percent reserve of additional facilities to cope with unforeseen emergency situations. This additional capacity should not be used to accommodate more pilgrims, they said.


Saudi e-learning platform hosts 850k classes daily

Updated 8 min 18 sec ago

Saudi e-learning platform hosts 850k classes daily

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Education’s online education platform Madrasati is currently hosting over 850,000 virtual classrooms allowing teachers and students from across
the Kingdom to interact on
a daily basis.
The platform provides students with virtual classes, homework assignment and delivery tools and is used in conjunction with the iEN YouTube channel and the iEN national education portal.
School leaders consistently monitor the educational process via Madrasati, prepare class schedules, communicate with absent students, and provide technical support for students and their parents.