Mataf expansion phase-3 under way

Updated 31 October 2014

Mataf expansion phase-3 under way

The third phase of the King Abdullah Project for the expansion of the mataf, the circumambulation area around the Kaaba, began this week.
Contractors have removed several old structures between the Safa hillock and the central area facing the King Fahd expansion site.
Sultan Al-Qurashi, project manager at the Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque, said the third phase of the project includes construction at King Abdul Aziz Gate with minarets over it and three floors covering a total area of 81,567 square meters.
He said work is under way to move chandeliers, decoration lights, fans and amplifiers, which will be packed and kept in a special warehouse.
Barriers would soon be placed on the top floor, first floor and the basement to ensure the work takes place smoothly, Al-Qurashi said.
He said the southern square of the mosque between the Safa hillock and King Abdul Aziz Gate would be partially cordoned off for demolition and construction activities.
However, the first phase of the project would be opened for worshippers. The entrance to the mataf would be from the western side of the mosque on the ground floor of the King Fahd expansion site and on the eastern side through Al-Salam Gate at the masaa, the area of running between the hillocks of Safa and Marwa. The project includes plans to restructure the area between the mosque and the location of the Third Saudi Expansion, providing direct access to the entrance to the mataf and the wheelchair tracks.
There would also be bridges constructed to link the newly expanded mataf and the building of the Third Saudi Expansion at the levels of the first floor and the roof. The government is exploring the possibility of adding four more floors in future and a mechanized circumambulation facility, in addition to shading over the mataf and the roof.
The project also includes the installation of Zamzam water supply and automated collection of garbage and removal of dust on all the new floors. There will be firefighting systems, rainwater drainage, extension of power connections, electricity stations, telephones, entrance control, intercom systems, lighting, sound systems, closed-circuit cameras and clocks in the expanded area, he said.

Saudi Arabia to export electricity under ‘noble’ energy plan

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, 2nd left, Khaldoon Al-Mubarak, CEO of Mubadala, 2nd right, Total’s Patrick Pouyanne, and moderator Bassem Awadallah, left, at the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh. (AN photo/Ziyad Al-Arfaj)
Updated 29 min 15 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to export electricity under ‘noble’ energy plan

  • ‘We are moving ahead with our civil nuclear program’, says energy minister

RIYADH: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman has reaffirmed the Kingdom’s commitment to diversifying its energy sources, telling the Misk Global Forum 2019 that an expanding renewable energy program will meet the country’s domestic requirements and even allow it to export electricity.
“We are moving ahead with our civil nuclear program,” the minister told the forum’s opening session.
He said the Kingdom’s renewable energy program “will get us into manufacturing and exporting electricity.”
Prince Abdul Aziz added: “We have a new program, a ‘noble’ program, to create a new way of using oil and gas that is different from the conventional ways.”
He told the forum that renewable energy will create jobs for thousands of Saudis and non-Saudis, saying that jobs for both are equally valuable.
“Non-Saudis are important. I was educated by non-Saudis. We should recognize that and not let our nationalism defeat us, and not be ungrateful to them,” he said.
The energy minister said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is providing all Saudis with equal opportunities.
“We know that our women now are enabled, they have an education program,” he said. “We have equal pay for both men and women.”
Prince Abdul Aziz said that social reforms in the Kingdom have turned Riyadh into a “city of joy,” where families had access to a range of entertainment options.
He urged forum participants to learn from their mistakes and never from success. “I am an embodiment of mistakes,” said the prince.
“Even princes have dreams, because they have fathers and grandfathers who had big dreams and we could never let them down,” he said.
“Education, training and resilience are important to keep up and never be broken,” he said, adding: “If I hadn’t had that self-motivation, the notion that you don’t give up, I wouldn’t be here today.


• Renewable energy will create jobs for thousands of Saudis and non-Saudis.

• ‘Noble’ program will create a new way of using oil and gas that is different from the conventional ways.

• Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ‘is providing all Saudis with equal opportunities.’

“I am humble enough, serious enough and Saudi enough to say that,” he said. A panelist at the forum, Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and CEO of Total, urged the younger generation not to be afraid of technology, saying that Artificial Intelligence will not take over their jobs.
“There is a beautiful challenge for making it compatible,” he said.
Fellow panelist Khaldoon Al-Mubarak, CEO of the UAE’s Mubadala Investment Co., told the audience that they represented the future.
“Our job as leaders today is to make sure that we provide you with the right opportunities, enabling the youth to succeed,” he said.
“Don’t fight technology, embrace it,” said Al-Mubarak.
In her welcome speech, Shaima Hamidaddin, Misk Global Forum’s executive manager, said that 7,000 participants had registered for the event, making it the largest ever, as well as the most diverse edition with more than 120 countries taking part.
“In every edition of the forum, we look at how to prepare for the future,” she said. “This year we are focusing on work. Everybody is touched by work in some way and that’s why we must rework our work.”