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In Pictures: Megaprojects transform Mecca
The holy city is in the process of unprecedented development, but many pilgrims cite concerns.
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2013 13:28
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Mecca, the birthplace of Islam, is in the midst of a massive transformation. The government of Saudi Arabia has launched a multibillion dollar renovation project to provide more space for the millions of pilgrims who visit the holy city every year. 

Saudi officials say Mecca will have state of the art infrastructure and one of the best transport systems in the world.

Some pilgrims, however, are unhappy with the changes. "I am here to walk around the Kaaba and enjoy the spiritual side of the pilgrimage but unfortunately the whole area has been invaded by tall buildings," Kusayla Zayani, a pilgrim, said.

"I understand the need to build places for pilgrims but cannot just bulldoze monuments it seems Saudi Arabia isn't attached to preserving historical sites."

Ossama Al Bar, the Mayor of Mecca, said those concerns are unfounded. "We are committed to preserve the cultural and spiritual identity of Mecca this is a top priority for us."


/Hamed AlKubati/Hashem Ahelbara/Al Jazeera

Workers put the final touches on the Kiswa - the black cloth that covers the Kaaba. The Kiswa is adorned with embroidered calligraphers.



/Hamed AlKubati /Hashem Ahelbarra/ Al Jazeera

Each year, one day before Hajj starts, the Kiswa is removed, cut into pieces, and given as souvenirs to dignitaries. Draping the Kaaba with a new Kiswa is a huge event attended by senior officials from different parts of the Muslim world.



/Hamed AlKubati/ Hashem Ahelbarra/Al Jazeera

A model of the expansion of the Holy Mosque.



/Hamed AlKubati/ Hashem Ahelbarra/ Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia has launched a multibillion dollar expansion and renovation project in Mecca to accommodate the constantly increasing number of pilgrims.



/Hamed AlKubati/ Hashem Ahelbarra/ Al Jazeera

Cranes fill Mecca's skyline.



/Hamed AlKubati/ Hashem Ahelbarra/ Al Jazeera

A new metro line connects pilgrims to the holy sites.



/Hamed AlKubati/ Hashem Ahelbarra/ Al Jazeera

A pilgrim at The Mountain of Light where Prophet Muhammad received the first revelation.



/Hamed AlKubati/ Hashem Ahelbarra/ Al Jazeera
Pilgrims at The Mountain of Light.


/Hamed AlKubati/ Hashem Ahelbarra/ Al Jazeera

Pilgrims visiting various monuments around the city.



/Hamed AlKubati/ Hashem Ahelbarra/ Al Jazeera

Pilgrims attend prayer at The Holy Mosque.




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images:
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captions:

Workers put the final touches on the Kiswa - the black cloth that covers the Kaaba. The Kiswa is adorned with embroidered calligraphers.

;*;

Each year, one day before Hajj starts, the Kiswa is removed, cut into pieces, and given as souvenirs to dignitaries. Draping the Kaaba with a new Kiswa is a huge event attended by senior officials from different parts of the Muslim world.

;*;

A model of the expansion of the Holy Mosque.

;*;

Saudi Arabia has launched a multibillion dollar expansion and renovation project in Mecca to accommodate the constantly increasing number of pilgrims.

;*;

Cranes fill Mecca(***)s skyline.

;*;

A new metro line connects pilgrims to the holy sites.

;*;

A pilgrim at The Mountain of Light where Prophet Muhammad received the first revelation.

;*;Pilgrims at The Mountain of Light.;*;

Pilgrims visiting various monuments around the city.

;*;

Pilgrims attend prayer at The Holy Mosque.

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Photographer:
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Image Source:
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Workers put final touches on the Kiswa - the black cloth that covers the Kaaba, the Kiswa is adorned with embroidered calligraphers.

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Workers put final touches on the Kiswa - the black cloth that covers the Kaaba, the Kiswa is adorned with embroidered calligraphers.

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Each year , one day before Hajj starts ,Kiswa is removed ,cut into pieces and given as souvenirs to dignitaries. Draping the Kaaba with a new Kiswa is a huge event attended by senior officials from different parts of the Muslim world.

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Model of the expansion of the Holy Mosque.

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Model of the expansion of the Holy Mosque.

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Saudi Arabia has launched a multibillion dollar expansion and renovation project in Mecca to accommodate the ever increasing number of pilgrims.

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Metro line that connects the holy sites.

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Metro line that connects the holy sites.

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A Hajji at The Mountain of Light where Prophet Muhammad received first revelation.

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A Hajji at The Mountain of Light where Prophet Muhammad received first revelation.

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Pilgrims at The Mountain of Light.

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Pilgrims visiting monuments.

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Pilgrims in The Holy Mosque.

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Pilgrims in The Holy Mosque.



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