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King Abdulaziz Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

At a distance of 19 kilometers from the economic capital of Saudi Arabia - Jeddah, the third largest airport of the kingdom is located. King Abdulaziz International Airport occupies 15 square kilometers and has a royal terminal, housing complex for the employees of the airport, and special facilities for the Royal Air Force.

The airport was built from 1974 to 1980, and officially opened in 1983. King Abdulaziz Airport is known thanks to the unique design of one of its terminals, designed specially for the Hajj. Jeddah is located near the holy city of Islam - Mecca, which is the destination for millions of pilgrims every year. In order to ensure a comfortable environment for pilgrims, King Abdulaziz Airport has a special terminal for those who come to this region to honor the main shrine of Islam.

The spacious terminal Hajj (Hajj - the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina) has no walls. It is covered with a roof, which consists of 210 cone-shaped units that are created on the model of Arab tents. Lack of walls provides natural ventilation and the roof from the teflon covers the pilgrims from the burning sun. The “tent” roof is based on 45-meter high pilons. The "tents" are made of a material that has ability of self-cleaning from the sands, and also has high thermal resistance, that allows to ensure normal temperature about 25 degrees under the roof at the indoor part of the terminal even when outdoor temperature reaches 40-45 degrees Celsius.

The terminal Hajj with its symbolic design is open only during the 6 weeks of Hajj, but in these 6 weeks it manages to meet about one million pilgrims. It can accommodate 80,000 worshipers at a time, providing them simple and modest conditions of Arabic tent, that are mandatory for the Islamic pilgrimage. The entire complex of the terminal resembles a large Arab village, which even has its own mosque.

The terminal Hajj occupies 465,000 square meters and is one of the largest in the world. In 1983, the Hajj received the Aga Khan architectural award for its symbolic architecture and unique design.

By Anna Pambukhchyan,


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