The Holy Mosque in Makkah al-Mukarramah, with the Holy Kaba at its center, has witnessed successive expansions since the era of the Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab, who carried out the first expansion in the year 638. It went through continuous expansions over the Islamic eras. In 1925, King Abdulaziz Al Saud, founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ordered that a full program of maintenance to the Holy Mosque be carried out including its lighting, renovation, modernization and area expansion. After the death of King Abdul Aziz expansion operations continued in the reign of King Saud (1953-1964) the Grand Mosque was expanded during the
period (1955 - 1961) to reach a total area of 152,000 square meters, with a capacity of 400,000 worshippers. The area of the Grand Mosque during the reign of King Faisal (1964-1975) was 160,000 square meters. In the reign of King Khalid (1975-1982) improvements were added in the Tawaf area, the pulpit and the door of the Kaba.. During the reign of King Fahd (1982 - 2005) the expansion operations continued beginning in 1988 and included the development of external areas, and the introduction of fire extinguishing system, rainwater drainage and other services. The total area of the Grand Mosque reached 356,000 square meters.
The Expansion of Al-Haram Mosque by King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz
Due to the continuous increase in the numbers of pilgrims and visitors to the Holy Mosque during recent years, its further expansion became a matter of urgent necessity. Therefore, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz ordered that a huge expansion be undertaken, which covers the Holy Mosque and its surrounding areas starting in the northern side in order to enable it to accommodate two million people at one time. In addition, King Abdullah's expansion includes expansion of the external areas of the Holy Mosque, as well as restrooms, passageways, tunnels, and other ancillary facilities. The service area has also been developed, including the air conditioning and electricity plants and water supply facilities which all serve the Holy Mosque. Upon its completion, this latest expansion project will increase the area of the Holy Mosque to one million square meters.