Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered the biggest expansion in the history of Madinah’s Quba Mosque.
The mosque is the oldest in Islam, dating back to the time of the Prophet Mohammed. It is believed the Prophet himself laid the first stone of the mosque’s structure. It is also where the Qibla, or direction of prayer, was changed from Jerusalem to Makkah.
On a visit to Madinah, the crown prince said the project will include improvements to the area surrounding the mosque, bringing its total area to 50,000 square metres, which is 10 times its current size.
No details were provided on the project’s expected date of completion.
The expansion will also raise the mosque’s capacity to 66,000 worshippers, state news agency SPA reported on Friday.
The crown prince also visited the nearby Prophet’s Mosque and took a tour of the area with the governor of Madinah, his deputy and other officials.
The project is in line with the kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals of serving worshippers and improving the quality of life, state media said.
The mosque will be surrounded by shaded areas for worshippers and developments to the surrounding infrastructure and road network to improve accessibility, said SPA.
There are also plans to tackle congestion issues that worshippers face during peak seasons.