The Saudi Press Agency reported that 62 billion riyal (US$16.5 billion) will be invested to improve the transport system in the holy city of Mecca. Improvements are to include the building of four metro lines across the city with 88 stations.
Every year, people making the pilgrimage to Mecca for Haj and Omra, account for a portion of the 6 million that will visit the city from around the globe. The sheer number of visitors is burdening the existing transport system of narrow roads that was created many years ago. It is expected that the improvement project will take ten years to complete.
There are also long-term projects planned for around the Grand Mosque. These include the construction of hotels, malls, and cafes. The Saudi Arabia government also plans to spend billions to upgrade the transport system of its capital, Riyadh. In the works is a high-speed rail line that will connect Mecca with Medina, the second holiest city in Islam. The Saudi government also hopes to build foot bridges near the Grand Mosque.