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File photo: An aerial view of the Kaaba and the clock tower at Mecca's Grand Mosque during the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The General Authority for Roads in Saudi Arabia has announced the completion of extensive preparations on Mecca roads ahead of the upcoming Hajj season, 1445 AH.

The roadworks involved surveying and upgrading 4,000 kilometers of roadways to ensure a seamless and comfortable experience for pilgrims.

Improvements included scraping and re-asphalting 158 km of roads, addressing cracks and potholes at 403 sites, trimming road shoulders across 2,361 km, removing sand dunes covering 1,240 cubic meters, and cleaning valley streams at 421 locations.

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Saudi Arabia's road network, noted by the World Bank as the first in global road network interconnection, plays a crucial role in connecting the holy sites and facilitating safe and efficient pilgrim travel.

Further ensuring the readiness of these pathways, Eng. Bader Al Dalami, Acting CEO of the General Authority for Roads, conducted an inspection tour of over 2,000 km of roads leading to key religious sites.

The tour included key routes like the Riyadh-Taif highway, linking the capital with Taif, and the Taif Al-Sail road, crucial for pilgrim travel during Hajj.

Al Dalami also reviewed the Taif-Khurma-Rania-Bisha road, a major artery serving several governorates in Mecca.