MADINAH INAUGURATES NEW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

On Islam
On Islam

Madinah, 19 Ramadan 1436/6 July 2015 (MINA) – Bracing for the world’s largest gathering of Hajj, Saudi Arabia inaugurated a mega airport in Madinah earlier this week with a cost of $1.2bn to make the spiritual journey easier for thousands of pilgrims who flock to the holy lands every year.

“This is the fruit of partnership of GACA with a consortium led by Tibah Airports Development Co. and consisting of Al Rajhi Holding Group, Saudi Oger and TAV Airports Holding,” emir of Madinah, Suleiman Al-Hamdan, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

“Ever since the upgrading of the airport into an international one 10 years ago, the airport has witnessed steady growth in the passenger traffic with operation of 36 aviation companies and this number would rise to 45 during the Hajj season.”

Al-Hamdan was speaking about the new Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah that was inaugurated by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Thursday, July 2.

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With a capacity of eight million passengers a year in the first phase, the airport will be able to serve up to 18 million passengers in the second phase and 40 million in the third.

Covering 155,000 sq. meters, the main passenger terminal of the airport has 72 check-in counters including eight for large size baggage, 24 counters for self-check-in along with 26 passports counter for departures and arrivals.

Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, consists of several ceremonies, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family. Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime.

 

Mega Project

Funded by the National Commercial Bank, Saudi British Bank and Arab National Bank, the project is Saudi Arabia’s first airport to be constructed and fully operated entirely by the private sector.

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Inaugurating the of 4 million sq. meter airport, the King pressed the button to mark the opening of the airport saying, “In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful. I am honored to be with you this night in the City of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the second holy city of Madinah.

“Praise be to Allah, what we are seeing here is delightful and reminds us of the founder of this nation.

“While drawing attention to the occasion of naming the airport after Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz, the King recalled the immense contributions rendered by the prince after he was appointed as the emir of Madinah by King Abdulaziz, a position which he assumed for a long period of time.”

Including 36 elevators, 28 escalators and 23 conveyor belts, the technology-based waiting lounge could cater to 4,000 people.

Strategically located close to the Hajj terminal, six external terminals have been built over a total area of 10,000 sq. meters to facilitate movement.

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Catering to the growing number of Muslim worshippers travelling to the holy land, the expansion of the mataf, or circumambulation area around the Kaaba, was opened this Ramadan, with an hourly capacity for 100,000 worshipers.

Over the past few years, the Saudi government has championed several projects to develop and expand Makkah to help more pilgrims perform Hajj and Umrah with ease.

In November 2009, Riyadh completed a five-story hi-tech Jamarat Bridge to ensure a smooth flow of millions of pilgrims during the pelting ritual of the annual Hajj.

The bridge has 10 entrances and 12 exits over its four levels to allow the flow of 300,000 pilgrims per hour. It is also equipped with technology to help authorities intervene in case of any stampedes during the stoning ritual.

Other projects were also constructed to expand the area on top of the holy Mount `Arafat, and develop the sewage and fire-fighting systems, in addition to upgrading health and transportation services. (T/P006/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)

 

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