Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has given the green light for the SAR50bn ($13.32bn) pilgrim city project in Madinah.
Located 3km west of the Prophet’s Mosque and 900m from Quba Mosque, the city will be spread across an area of more than 1.6 million m² and will accommodate 200,000 people.
Madinah Governor Prince Faisal bin Salman was quoted by Arab News as saying: "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has instructed the Finance Ministry to implement the project."
The project will be built in two phases, where the first phase will cost SAR3.3bn ($880m) and the second will cost SAR2.7bn ($719m), which will be financed by state-owned Public Investment Fund.
The pilgrim city will have 100 administrative and residential towers, 30 hotels, the Haj Ministry headquarters, the Haj secretariat, the Madinah governor’s office, a 400-bed hospital and a railway and bus station.
"A number of hotels and furnished apartments will be constructed as part of the world-class city to accommodate 200,000 pilgrims," Salman added.
In addition, the city will house administrative offices for Tawafa organisations, offices for the General Syndicate of cars, travel agents and medical missions as well as a big mosque to house 15,000 worshippers.