Welcome to Makkah, King Salman

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman receives dignitaries as he arrives at Al-Safa Palace in the holy city on Thursday. (SPA)

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman was accorded a warm welcome by the people of Makkah as he arrived in the vicinity of the Grand Mosque on Thursday accompanied by Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, other princes and high-ranking officials.

King Salman, who is on his first visit to Makkah after ascending the throne on Jan. 23, 2015, will inspect the progress of the Haram expansion project, which is expected to increase the mosque’s capacity to more than two million worshippers. He will also review the preparations being made by government departments to receive millions of pilgrims during Ramadan.

Speaking to Arab News, Saad Al-Qurashi, chairman of the Haj and Umrah Committee at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expressed his happiness over King Salman’s visit to the holy city, adding that the royal visit would contribute to accelerating the city’s overall development.

“Makkah people are planning to hold a big reception for the king. We are working to make it a memorable event,” Al-Qurashi said, adding that the king would meet with chairmen of Tawafa organizations and Makkah business leaders.

Earlier on arrival at Al-Safa Palace in Makkah, King Salman and his entourage were greeted by senior princes and officials including Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, Osama Al-Bar, mayor of Makkah and Saleh Al-Shaibi, the keeper of the Holy Kaaba key.

Meanwhile, Sultan Al-Qurashi, director of projects at the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, said construction work at the mataf (the circumambulation area around the Holy Kaaba) would be halted this month in order to resume work after Ramadan, adding that this move would help the mataf accommodate the increasing numbers of pilgrims, who come from within the Kingdom and abroad to perform Umrah during the holy month.


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