The holy mosque in Mecca has recently witnessed one of the largest projects to extend the space ever, as those who are responsible for developing the mosque don’t just aim for extending the mosque to accommodate larger number of worshippers, but to improve the mosque to welcome them and to avoid the problems happen because of massive numbers.
The holy mosque in Mecca passed by many stages of extension starting from Omar Ebn El khattab till now. Omar Ebn ELkhattab and Othman Ebn Affan extend the holy mosque’s borders, then in the Ummawy age the extension was made by Abdullah Ebn ELzobair and El waleed Ebn Abdel-malek. In Al-Abbasy age, Abo Gaafar EL mansoury, Mohammad El-mahdy, Al-moa’tated b Allah, and Al Moktader b Allah. In the modern age the first extension passed by 3 stages, the first was in 1955, then 1959 then 1961, as Kaaba was repaired, the Mataf was extended, and Makam Ibrahim was renewed, so the space of the holy mosque became 193,000 m2 to receive about 400,000 worshippers. The second extension was in 1988 and the space became bigger about 366,000 m2 to receive about one million worshippers. The largest extension for the holy mosque was the third one in 2011 as the holy mosque’s space became 400,000 m2 having about one and half million persons.
But what does it mean to extend the holy mosque in Mecca? Simply it is the process of getting the holy mosque bigger and extends its boarders to receive more worshippers, to provide more space for the numbers of worshippers that increases every year. Those extensions include removing many commercial shops and building around the mosque, and may be removing some mountains too. Those shops are transferred to other places and the owners are paid reparations. The plan of developing the holy mosque in Mecca includes services and shops around the mosque. When extending the holy mosque the hotels, buildings and residential towers around the mosque are taken in consideration. Those hotels and towers like Hajar Tower, present you the most wonderful view, the view of Kaaba and the holy mosque, moreover it is so close to the mosque which save effort and time when going to the mosque.
Due to the continuous extension in the holy mosque, the lands’ prices in the central area around the mosque rise. The land around the holy mosque is considered to be one of the most expensive globally, because the land available for building there is limited while there are many demands for buying a land there.
Maybe extending the holy mosque in Mecca needs a lot of effort and time, but it aims to serve the guests of God and make it comfortable for them to do pilgrimage and Ommrah without so much effort, plus those who are responsible for the holy mosque, take in consideration the services and buildings surrounding the mosque as they are considered to be main factors of pilgrimage tourism.