Umrah pilgrims pack the courtyard of the Grand Mosque in Mecca during the Friday noon prayers. Image Credit: Source: General authority for Care of the Two Holy Mosques

Dubai: The Grand Mosque’s air conditioning system undergoes purification nine times daily and utilises ultraviolet rays for sterilisation before being released into the mosque, ensuring 100 per cent germ-free air.

The sophisticated process is managed by the Agency for Technical, Operational, Maintenance, and Facilities Management Affairs under the General Authority for the Care of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque. The system not only cools but also purifies the air within the mosque.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

With an energy consumption reaching 155,000 tonnes of refrigeration, the mosque’s cooling system ranks among the world’s largest. It operates via two main stations, Kudi and Shamiya — the latter being the world’s largest, producing 120,000 tonnes of refrigeration and located 900 meters from the Grand Mosque. The Ajyad station contributes an additional 35,000 tonnes of refrigeration from 500 meters away.

Water cooled between 4 to 5 degrees Celsius is circulated through pipes from these stations to the Grand Mosque, undergoing a heat exchange process in mechanical rooms before the fresh, cooled air is distributed throughout the mosque. The agency has upgraded the air handling units and heat exchangers and regularly replaces air purification filters.

Also read

Air purification is achieved by drawing natural air through filters on the Grand Mosque’s roof, which block dust and small particles, followed by ultraviolet sterilization to eliminate bacteria and germs. This ensures that the air reaching the mosque’s prayer halls is free of contaminants.

The General Administration of Operation and Maintenance oversees these systems, employing a team of skilled Saudi engineers and technicians.

They regulate temperature, maintain optimal humidity levels, and ensure operational efficiency 24/7. The team adjusts air balance based on visitor numbers and density, enhancing thermal comfort and energy efficiency while adhering to strict technical and safety standards.