The number of Muslims visiting the grand mosque at Makkah has continued to grow by leaps and bounds over the hundreds and thousands of years it has been in existence. To accommodate the many who visit Makkah every year, we see that the various ruling regimes have expanded the mosque’s perimiters in all directions as well. Such expansion has been the focus of extensive planning. For example, per saudiembassy.net a few years ago the escalators installed in the mosque were designed to carry approximately 15,000 people in our hour to the roof of the mosque. Such expansion has occurred at a very high expense. Some government estimates put the dollar figures spent in one decade around $20 Billion. That expense has increased the area within the mosque to around 5 million sq. feet.
If you visit Makkah these days, you will notice numerous high rises built or still being built. The following pictures were taken from one of the high rises and reflects the enormous capacity of the grand mosque at Makkah.
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===> Click on these pictures to see the larger version