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$8 Billion “Pilgrim City” Planned for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia : 27 August 2010

The ‘pilgrim city’ located near Mina could cost around $8 billion according to the Deputy Minister for Municipal and Rural Affairs in Saudi Arabia

Habib Zain Al Abidine said the number of pilgrims that can be accommodated in the city during the hajj is 1.5 million and that the plans were been investigated by the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars.

Two options are being considered.  The construction of concrete buildings or a set up consisting of modern tent designs are both possibilities.  The over one million pilgrims will be housed with tents or in multistory buildings, according to Al Abidine, who noted that this project may be ready in only five years.

These plans would provide more room for pilgrims visiting the holy sites during the hajj, as approximately 2.5 million pilgrims across the globe perform hajj annually.

The city of Mina lies east of the city of Makkah.  Mina has had an important role in the past as a location where pilgrims erected tents and lived temporarily.

Al Abidine also reported that three separate projects totaling $373 million will be up for approval.  These projects are to allow for a car park to be built, construction of toilets near the holy sites and the moving of existing slaughterhouses outside the city of Mina.

Also, the minister reported that the new $1.6 billion train link between Arafat, Makkah, Muzdalifa and Mina will carry 150,000 pilgrims this year.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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