MAKKAH — Prince Badr bin Sultan, deputy emir of Makkah, inspected on Thursday the progress of the plans and works being implemented at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the holy mosque’s readiness to receive the Umrah pilgrims and worshipers during the holy month of Ramadan, marking the annual peak of the Umrah season.

Prince Badr began his tour of the Grand Mosque from the Ismail Gate, where he listened to a briefing on the work that was carried out at the gate, which includes three entrances with a width of 10 meters at the southern facade of the mataf (circumambulation area around the Holy Kaaba).

Then, he climbed to the roof of the mataf to ensure its readiness after maintenance work. The roof has a capacity to accommodate more than 12,500 worshipers at a time. The roof with permanent floors of heat-resistant Thassos marble will be opened for the first time this Ramadan.

Prince Badr also inspected the expansion of the mataf building, which aims to raise the number of pilgrims from about 50,000 pilgrims per hour to 107,000 pilgrims per hour on five levels directly connected to the floors of the Second Saudi Expansion Building and the masa’ (area for the ritual of sai’ between Safa and Marwa) building.

The deputy emir also listened to the briefing on the project of the second mezzanine floor in the mataf building, with an area of 18,400 square meters, as an additional space to serve the pilgrims. He also inspected the project to increase the cooling capacity to soften the air in the mataf building.

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