King 'Abdullah Expansion of Masjid al-Haram

By the Editors of the Madain Project

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The Malik 'Abdullah Expansion (توسعة الملك عبدالله) was launched in 2011 CE, by then King 'Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, it is the third Saudi expansion and by far the largest. In 2008, the Saudi government under King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz announced an expansion of the mosque, involving the expropriation of land to the north and northwest of the mosque covering 300,000 square metres (3,200,000 sq ft).

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An aerial view of the Malik 'Abdullah expansion of Masjid al-Haram, 2008- till date CE. In August 2011, the Saudi government under King Salman the second phase of the third Saudi expansion was announced, which includes multi-level extension on the north side of the complex, new stairways and tunnels, a gate named after King Abdullah, and two minarets, bringing the total number of minarets to eleven. The Mataf (circumbulation area around Kaba) was also expanded.

Architectural Features

Bab Malik Abdullah
The Bab 'Abdullah (باب عبد الله), is the central entrance gate to the King 'Abdullah Prayer Area Extension, towards the north-western end. The gate is a scaled up version of gates from previous King Fahad expansion of Masjid al-Haram. The tripple arched gate has two minarets. It is flanked by two tetra arched smaller gates on each side.

circa 2017 CE

Bab Abdulaziz
The new King abd ul-Aziz Gate of Masjid al-Haram, also called the Bab al-Malik (King's gate, باب الملك) for short. The King Abdulaziz Gate is located opposite the Ajyad Street. It is one of the four major gates of old Masjid al-Haram (circa 1970-80 CE) that were renovated during the Malik 'Abdullah expansion of the mosque. Although significantly different from the previous gate, it still retains the triple arched structure.

circa 2017 CE

Relocation of the Ottoman Porticos
Some of the remaining original porticos of the Ottoman Masjid al-Haram were preserved and re-built. The porticos run along the current expanded Mataf area on three sides, except on the side of Mas'a.

circa 2017 CE

Largest Sliding Dome
The octagonal-shaped roof is one of the largest sliding domes in the world, 38 meters in diameter. The dome project is part of the largest Masjid al-Haram expansion project. The carbon-fiber roof slides on stainless-steel rail tracks to allow natural ventilation. The design had already been tested in Masjid al-Nabawi, when it was originally conceived and implemented by Dr. Kamal Ismael the chief architect for Masjid Nabawi's second expansion.


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