Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 November 2019

Elevated prayer platform being built in Makkah

Iron structure will hold about 200 worshippers 160 metres above ground near Grand Mosque

A prayer platform suspended between two towers will overlook the Grand Mosque and the Kaaba in Makkah. AP Photo
A prayer platform suspended between two towers will overlook the Grand Mosque and the Kaaba in Makkah. AP Photo

Construction has begun in Makkah on what is set to become the world's highest suspended prayer area, or musallah.

The platform will be suspended 161 metres above ground between two towers in the area near King Abdulaziz Road in the holy city, according to reports in the Saudi press.

It will have a total area of 400 square metres and be able to hold more than 200 worshippers.

The site directly overlooks the Holy Kaaba and the Grand Mosque, and worshippers will be able to hear prayers from the mosque.

Engineer Anas Sairafi, chairman of the real estate committee in the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the Alarabiya news website that the project was scheduled to be completed within six months.

“The suspension bridge underwent long studies to determine if it can withstand the climatic and natural phenomena. As to the construction condition, it is safe for sure," he said.

“The studies took several years to carry out followed by a careful revision and checking, to ensure that it can withstand the impacts of wind action, temperature changes, earthquakes and the difference in the settlement rates of the substrata and soil under the loads of the two towers, on the towers themselves, which are linked by the suspension bridge."

Mr Sairafi said the platform would be built entirely of iron.

“It was decided that an iron structural framework would be the most suitable because it is lighter in weight and is more flexible at this height,” he said.

Updated: October 19, 2019 10:17 PM

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