Removal of temporary mataf bridge underway

Updated 17 April 2016
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Removal of temporary mataf bridge underway

MAKKAH: Almost half of the temporary bridge on the mataf, the circumambulating area around the Kaaba, has been removed, according to the technical committee overseeing the expansion of the Grand Mosque.
Wael Al-Halabi, a member of the committee, was quoted as saying by a local publication on Friday that most of the work took place over 11 days recently.
The aim is to ensure the bridge and its gates are dismantled safely, he said.
Al-Halabi said Saudi engineers were among the staff members working to ensure that pilgrims can circumambulate the Kaaba safely while the work is taking place.
More than 14,000 engineers, technicians and workers have been working on the project to increase the capacity of the mataf. After completion, it will accommodate about 105,000 worshipers per hour.
The project includes central air conditioning, ventilation, lighting, sound systems, clocks and surveillance cameras.
Pilgrims will be able to perform the tawaf, circumambulation of the Kaaba, on the first floor and terrace. All the upper floors will be connected with escalators.
Al-Halabi said the expansion of the mataf was just one element of the work taking place at the Grand Mosque.
Once completed, the entire SR80-billion project would see around 1.5 million more worshippers accommodated, he said.


Saudi Arabia joins International Maritime Security Construct

Updated 22 min 45 sec ago

Saudi Arabia joins International Maritime Security Construct

  • The aim of this international alliance is to protect merchant ships through providing safe navigation
  • The operation covers Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandab, Sea of Oman and Arabian Gulf

RIYADH: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has joined the International Maritime Security Construct, a source from the Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday.
The US-led coalition, which includes Australia, Bahrain, and the UK, aims to protect commercial ships and provide safe navigation.
The International Maritime Security Construct area of operation covers Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandab, Sea of Oman and Arabian Gulf.
The Kingdom’s move comes in support of regional and international efforts to deter and counter threats to maritime navigation and global trade, and ensure global energy security and the continued flow of energy supplies to the global economy.