Saudi Arabia to construct airport near Makkah

26 Apr 2010

(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia?s advisory Shura Council has approved plans to build an international airport outside Makkah to cater for the growing number of religious tourists visiting the holy city, Arab News reported.

The council, appointed by the king, recommended the airport be located outside the haram, or forbidden, area to allow Muslims and non-Muslims to travel to the region, the newspaper said.

The Saudi government is spending billions of dollars improving transport infrastructure in and around the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah to better accommodate the more than 2 million pilgrims that visit the cities every year.

The plans include new airports, the expansion of existing airports, a dedicated pilgrimage airline, new roads and an extensive rail network.

The government is spending billions of dollars more on developing its airports across the kingdom as it looks to boost the number of tourists holidaying in the kingdom.

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