MAKKAH: The Mataf expansion at the Grand Mosque in Makkah has received royal approval to be named The Saudi Riwaq.
The announcement was made by Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.
He said: “The Saudi Riwaq, which includes the Mataf expansion project behind the Abbasid courtyard, surrounding the Holy Kaaba’s courtyard, was established when King Abdulaziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia, ordered the expansion of the Grand Mosque to accommodate the increasing numbers of pilgrims.”
Al-Sudais noted that the project began during the reign of King Saud in 1955 and continued during the reigns of King Faisal and King Khalid, before being fully developed under kings Fahd, Abdullah, and Salman.
“The Saudi Riwaq consists of four floors and can accommodate a total of 287,000 worshippers, or 107,000 pilgrims per hour,” he added. And more high-quality space had been created for worshippers.
“The heat-resistant marbles in Mataf also created a historical shift in the movement of circumambulation. It had a significant impact on the comfort of the circumambulation and the smoothness of the movement.
“Anyone who sees what the Grand Mosque was like before the (establishment of the) Saudi state and how it is today will see that what has been accomplished in these few years could not have been possible without the grace of Allah, the great care, and the unlimited support of the kings of the Kingdom,” Al-Sudais said.
Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh thanked the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques for its efforts.