New Telegraph

December 2, 2023

Saudi Arabia unveils Rawd Al-Madinah infrastructural plan to boost Hajj, Umrah

Saudi crowned prince Muhammad Bin Salman Bin AbdulAzeez has inaugurated the infrastructure works and unveiled the Masterplan for the Rawd Al- Madinah project which is to consolidate Madinah’s position as a modern Islamic and cultural destination and boost the Kingdom’s hajj and umrah travel sectors.

The project is in line with Saudi Arabia’s vision of 2030. It’s being developed and implemented by the public investment fund wood, Rawd Al-Madinah Wooden Company. The project is set to involve the rehabilitation of 1.5 million square meters. While receiving the city’s culture and architectural heritage and the addition of more than 47,000 hotel rooms by 2030 in the area close to the Prophet’s Mosque. The master plan includes nine bus stops, a metro station, self-service vehicles, and underground parking spaces for pilgrims and visitors to have access to the prophet mosque. The project is also expected to feature the main historical monument of the legacy of Prophet Muhammad.

It was also made known that more than 100,000 pilgrims of different nationalities have arrived in Madinah since the start of the umrah season to perform the next holy pilgrimage. The Ministry of hajj and umrah disclosed that statistics have recorded the arrival of 268,529 thousand pilgrims via airports from the start the beginning of the month of Muharram to the beginning of the month of Safar. Meanwhile, Saudi police arrested a Yemeni man this week after he advertised on social media his pilgrimage to Mecca, where he paid tribute to the memory of Queen Elizabeth II.

The pilgrim, whose name was withheld, had posted footage earlier this week that showed him holding a banner honoring the late queen from inside the courtyard of Mecca’s Grand Mosque. The clip quickly spread online, sparking outrage among devout Muslims and leading to the man’s arrest on Monday for “violating the regulations and instructions” of the holy site. Security forces referred him to the public prosecutor to face charges.

The Grand Mosque, among the holiest sites in Islam, is off-limits to non-Muslims. Saudi Arabia also bans signs and political slogans from the sacred courtyard for fear of offending Islamic sensibilities. Queen Elizabeth, who died last week, was head of the Church of England. “Umrah for the soul of Queen Elizabeth II, may Allah grant her peace in heaven and accept her among the righteous,” the banner read in English and Arabic. The mosque’s white-and-gray marble complex is visible behind the Yemeni man. Umrah is the lesser pilgrimage to Mecca, which can performed at any time of the year.

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