Canopies in Prophet’s Mosque shield worshippers from sun
Canopies retract in the Prophet’s Mosque shortly before worshippers open the day’s fast
29 July 2012 - 10 Ramadan 1433 H
MADINAH – The canopies erected in the Prophet’s Mosque have alleviated worshippers’ suffering due to the scorching heat during the holy month of Ramadan. Pilgrims and residents have praised the retractable canopies and the hundreds of water misting fans that help reduce the heat in the atmosphere.
The retractable canopies create the effect of a translucent vault, providing protection to over 200,000 worshippers from the scorching heat. At night, the canopies are closed to promote the natural cooling of the court floor.
The project for setting up the protective canopies is one of the most prominent projects approved for the expansion of the Madinah Haram in line with the directives of King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, during his visit to Madinah after ascension to the throne.
The Monarch ordered completion of the remaining works for the expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque. They include setting up 68 canopies to be added to 182 already existent ones, bringing the total to 250. Covering the courtyard of the mosque, they not only protect visitors from the sun but also against hazards of rainfall.
The King’s order to set up the canopies in the outer courtyards of the Prophet’s Mosque will accomodate more visitors. The canopies have also beautified the courtyards.
Abdulwahid Hattab, Director of Public Relations for the Prophet’s Mosque, said the canopies are operated through a computerized system whenever there is a need for them. Each canopy is equipped with systems for flood drainage and lighting. The canopies have been set up on pillars of the courtyards surrounding the Prophet’s Mosque from three sides to cover an area of 104,000 sq. meters. They also cover two routes on the southern side on which worshippers walk to and from the Mosque. The canopies covering these pedestrian routes overlap on one another.
Made of nonflammable teflon fabric that resists harsh weather conditions and ultraviolet rays, the canopies are erected on lamp pillars. Each canopy is made of a highly-resistant iron metal tube and their pillars and bases are covered with granite tiles, while the upper parts are covered with synthetic stone.