Its great news to hear that the grounds at Mecca are getting an upgrade in capacity! Its about time, given that despite the 900,000 capacity, during Hajj there are more people outside than in!!Given that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, they should probably build it for a 5 million capacity, the Muslims will most definitely fill the space.
In terms of an engineering project, its hugely interesting. A few features spring to mind:
- How to facilitate the wudhu needs of the people. This of course includes the need for restroom facilities
- Crush control structures in the common case of overcrowding
- Some kind of water mist system / water dispensing for when it gets really hot
- Entrance ways and exits
- Medical attention facilities
- Viewing platforms, for filming perhaps
These kinds of things, if properly addressed, will take more distractions away from what the people really went there for: to make pilgrimage for the sake of God, which itself is quite interesting. Like ramadhan, it is one of the pillars of Islam, and has positive effects on people. Its quite a demonstration of solidarity between people of all colours and backgrounds. Whilst everyone is dressed as humble pilgrims, there is no distinction between rich and poor, or even of where they are from. Its an oppourtunity to reflect on the origins of their faith, and to consider what that means in the 15th century AH, (21st CE) .