SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- The courtyards around the Grand Mosque in Mecca will have canopies similar to those in the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Gazette daily reported on monday.
An approval to this effect was given by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, according to General President for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudais.
More than 300 canopies will provide shade from the sun to the visitors of the Grand Mosque, Al-Sudais said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency on Sunday.
The canopies will cover the courtyards and the expanded area of 275,000 square meters.
The retractable canopies in the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah create the effect of a translucent vault, providing protection to worshippers from the scorching heat.
At night, the canopies are closed to promote the natural cooling of the courtyard floor. Made of nonflammable teflon fabric that resists harsh weather conditions and ultraviolet rays, the canopies in Madinah are erected on lamp pillars.
Each canopy is made of a highly-resistant iron metal tube and their pillars and bases are covered with granite tiles, while the upper parts are covered with synthetic stone.
The Grand Mosque in Makkah in witnessing massive expansion projects. Tipped as the “Project of the Century,” the SR80 billion expansion project consists of three parts: Construction of annex building; expansion and development of courtyards around the mosque, including walkways, tunnels and toilets; and development of service facilities for air-conditioning, electricity and drinking water.
The total area of the existing mosque is 356,000 sq. meters accommodating 770,000 worshipers while the new expansion covering an area of 456,000 sq. meters will accommodate an additional 1.2 million faithful.
Courtyards of the mosque’s new expansion can hold more than 250,000 worshipers.