SAUDI Arabia will execute projects worth SR2 billion ($533.3 million) at the two holy mosques in Makkah and Madinah, according to local press reports.

Muhammad bin Nasser Al Khozaim, deputy head of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, was quoted by the Arab News as saying the projects will be implemented this year.

A total of SR1.76 billion ($469.3 million) will be spent on  various maintenance, operation and cleaning contracts at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, the report said, adding that the remaining SR224 million ($59.7 million) has been set aside for other projects.

These include SR104 million ($27.7 million) for new carpets, SR12 million ($3.2 million) to execute two projects at Kaaba’s cover factory, SR19 million ($5 million) for the construction of the presidency’s warehouses and training centre building, SR12.5 million ($3.3 million) for the Grand Mosque’s geographical information system (GIS), in addition to SR35.5 million ($9.5 million) for improving the technological systems for the two mosques, and SR23 million  ($6.1 million) for setting up a website and updating the presidency’s computer systems.

Al Khozaim said the ongoing expansion, the largest ever in the history of the Grand Mosque, will involve an additional prayer space for 1.2 million worshippers. The project, named the King Abdullah Expansion, will cover an area of 370,000 sq m.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Dawah and Guidance is planning to revamp the historic Quba Mosque in Madinah at a cost of SR100 million ($26.7 million), the Saudi Gazette reported.

The project has been approved and a study being carried by the Madinah Mayoralty and the Madinah Development Commission will be completed soon, Muhammad Al Ameen bin Khateri, director of the ministry’s Madinah branch, was quoted as saying.

Additionally, work to expand and restore Al Shohada Mosque in Madinah is under way and 8,000-sq-m project will be completed in 24 months, Khateri told the newspaper.

The total cost of renovating these mosques will be SR616.9 million ($164 million), of which SR82.7 million ($21 million) has been allocated in this year’s budget, the report said.

Additionally, a plan to develop the areas around Quba and Miqat, and the King Abdul Aziz Centre has been approved by the Madinah Development Commission, according to the newspaper.