Saudi Mecca clock
This picture taken on May 24, 2020 during the early hours of Eid Al Fitr shows an aerial view of Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca, with the Abraj Al Bait Mecca Royal Clock Tower overlooking the Grand Mosque and Kaaba in the centre. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Saudi authorities have denied claims they plan to remove more districts in the holy city of Mecca amid an ongoing redevelopment scheme.

A post recently circulated on social media alleged that seven more districts will be removed during the new Islamic year, which started today.

“This post is untrue,” spokesman for Mecca municipality Osama Zaytouni said.

He told Okaz newspaper that only three districts were confirmed by Mecca authorities to be removed.

“Information should be verified from its official sources before they are published and circulated especially when it is related to demolitions,” the official said.

Earlier this month, authorities in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah quashed rumours that demolition of remaining slums in the city, administratively part of Mecca, will be postponed.

Twenty-eight such districts in the city have been razed and four others remain.

Slum demolitions recently resumed in Jeddah after they were put on hold during the past Islamic month of Ramadan that ended in early May.

Last February, authorities resumed a phased plan to develop a densely populated slum area in Mecca with the aim of eliminating visual disfigurement of the city known as the Holy Capital of the kingdom.

The removal of Al Nakasa, located around 1,500 metres from the Grand Mosque, was suspended for more than a year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.