Makkah takes on 153 towers

The US $3.7 billion project is being undertaken to help pilgrims.

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By  Conrad Egbert Published  July 16, 2005

The Makkah Development Authority (MDA) is set to approve the construction of 153 residential towers in a mega housing project in Makkah. The project is estimated to cost US $3.7 billion (SR14 billion) and is located just 800 m away from the Grand Mosque, in Misfala neighborhood in the central region of the holy city. It will cover 1.1 million m2 and is designed to accommodate 350 000 pilgrims. It is believed that three international consultancy firms are to present their studies and final designs of the project to the MDA for approval shortly. There are increasing prospects for such residential projects in Makkah due to a growing number of Haj and Umrah pilgrims every year. At present, nearly 2.5 million pilgrims come to Makkah for Haj and more than five million for Umrah. According to studies, about 28% of a pilgrim’s expenditure is on housing. The project is aimed at developing disorganised areas around the Grand Mosque and to create comfortable housing facilities for the pilgrims. It would also contribute to the strengthening of the national economy of Saudi Arabia, by helping to boost real estate investments. Last November, Crown Prince Abdullah launched six major development projects worth $9.5 billion (SR35 billion) around the Haram Mosque in Makkah. The projects include the $3.2 billion (SR12 billion) Jabal Omar residential towers — one of the largest ventures aimed at developing areas surrounding the Haram mosque. Spread over an area of 230 000 m2, the project includes five-star hotels, commercial centres as well as prayer facilities for around 200 000 worshippers. Other projects dedicated by the Crown Prince were the development of Ajyad General Hospital, which is located close to the mosque, and construction of another road to Haram parallel to the existing road from the Jeddah-Makkah Expressway.

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