New state-of-the-art speakers would allow more pilgrims to hear the call to prayer without entering the mosque grounds as Saudi Arabia predicts 6m pilgrims to converge on the holiest site this season
About 4,000 loud speakers have been installed around the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Islam’s holiest site, in what authorities say will enable the call to prayer to be heard 9 kilometres away.
Saudi Arabia is undergoing a $2bn renovation and extension of the mosque so it can accommodate 1 million pilgrims at any one time.
Grand Mosque operations director Faras Al Saadi said the new speakers would enable more people to participate in the mosque’s prayers without entering the exact site.
“A technical committee has chosen only the most advanced brands and models after examining the most effective sound systems worldwide,” he said, according to local media.
“Thanks to this premium quality speakers, prayers will be heard up to 9,000 meters away, from Gaza Street to Ibrahim Khalil Street.
“The outside speakers are wind-proof, meaning sound will remain crystal clear even in rough weather. This is a very complex technical accomplishment.
“Special poles have been set up on several roads around the area and south of the mosque as well.”
The infamous loudspeakers on the top of the Makkah Clock Tower will be audible up to 7km away, while green and white lights used to indicate the five daily pray times also will be visible from 30km away to aid those with hearing difficulties.
About 6 million Muslims are expected to visit the site during the Umrah and Haj season, which is underway.