"It's the Manhattanisation of Mecca. The Saudis want to build skyscrapers. The worry is that as they level hills and mountains they will destroy sites of cultural interest."Yes, we're all well aware of Saudis destroying sites of interest.
A report by the Saudi British Bank, one of the kingdom's biggest lenders, estimates that £15bn will be invested by local and foreign companies in construction and infrastructure in Mecca in the next four years. Up to 130 new skyscrapers are anticipated, including the Abraj Al Bait Towers, a seven-tower project that will be one of the largest buildings in the world, with a 2,000-room hotel, a 1,500-person convention centre, heliports and a four-storey mall that will house hundreds of outlets.With all the construction planned, it's nice to see they also have a sense of humor.
Next week Mecca - which is strictly off limits to non-Muslims - will host a three-day conference on the importance of dialogue with other religions. The event, to be opened by King Abdullah, will feature scholars and academics from the Islamic world.