Child care grand mosque
A child care facility has been opened to help worshippers at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Twitter/Sabq

Cairo: A centre taking care of worshippers’ children is operating for the first time in the vicinity of the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, in Saudi Arabia’s city of Makkah, which is experiencing a large number of the faithful during the current Muslim month of Ramadan.

Housed in the mosque’s Third Saudi Extension, the facility opened in mid-Ramadan and is offering its services to the worshippers with support and supervision of competent government agencies.

The centre takes care of children below the age of six while their parents perform Umrah or lesser pilgrimage and other religious rites at the mosque, home to the Holy Kaaba.

The facility, which operates around the clock, can host up to 80 children. It features zones for games and sleep rooms and is overseen by specialists.

The well-equipped centre is the first of its kind set up at the courtyards of the Grand Mosque, for taking care of children in a safe environment, its manager Razan Al Dahlawi said.

The first three hours of the service are offered for free, she added, without giving details about charges for a longer service.

Ramadan usually marks the peak of Umrah season at the Grand Mosque, particularly in the last 10 days of the month, expected to end on Thursday.

In recent months, the kingdom has unveiled a set of facilities for Muslims wishing to come to the country to perform Umrah.

Millions of Muslims, who cannot afford the annual Hajj rituals physically or financially, gather in Saudi Arabia to undertake Umrah.