Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Prince Khalid al-Faisal Unveils Plans to Transform Makkah into ‘Smartcity’

Prince Khalid al-Faisal Unveils Plans to Transform Makkah into ‘Smartcity’

Wednesday, 14 August, 2019 - 06:00
Hajj pilgrims are seen at the Mina area. (SPA)
Makkah, Mina – Saleh al-Zeid and Ibrahim al-Qarshi

Governor of the Makkah region and adviser to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Prince Faisal al-Faisal unveiled on Tuesday plans to transform the holy city of Makkah into a “smartcity.”

Speaking at the conclusion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, he said that the plan will get underway in the Mina region in 2020.

The plan will develop the housing locations in Mina and will be complete next year, he told a press conference in Mina.

It will undergo a trial period to assess its success and introduce any necessary amendments.

Prince Khalid stressed that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, were insistent on transforming Makkah into a smartcity.

The plan also includes transforming the holy sites into smart areas.

The plan will be complete in coming years, he added.

This year’s Hajj, he continued, attracted more than 2.48 million pilgrims, including 1.85 million from outside of Saudi Arabia.

More than 350,000 personnel were deployed to ensure that the Hajj took place smoothly and without incident.

Millions of pilgrims began heading back to Makkah for final prayers on Tuesday as the Hajj wound down.

Senior officials said there had been no major incidents and the logistical, security and health plans had been successful, even with some heavy rainfall.

Pilgrims participated in a symbolic stoning of the devil, part of the Hajj rituals, in Jamarat before returning to Makkah, where the Grand Mosque filled with worshippers preparing to depart.

Editor Picks