China to build a high-speed railway between Mecca and Medina

China to build Mecca rail system

China has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia to build a new railway system linking the main sites of the annual Muslim pilgrimage, the Hajj.

The new railway will connect the city of Mecca with the pilgrim destinations of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah.

Saudi Arabia also plans to build a high-speed rail link to take pilgrims from Mecca to Medina, Islam’s two holiest cities, in 30 minutes.

The journey time by road can take anywhere between four and five hours.

Millions of Islamic faithful descend on Mecca during the annual mass pilgrimage.

The new network in Saudi Arabia is expected to be ready within three years, with one section of the line due to be completed in time for the 2010 Hajj, officials said.

The contract, worth almost $1.8bn (£1.24bn), was awarded to the China Railway Company and a French firm.

The project was announced during a three-day visit by the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, to Saudi Arabia.

China is becoming a key contractor on infrastructure projects in the oil-rich kingdom.

Source via Ismaeel

25 Replies to “China to build a high-speed railway between Mecca and Medina”

  1. I’m all about International Relations, but they couldn’t award this contract to a Muslim Nation… Oh yeah, wait we don’t make anything:(

  2. Sallams.

    Hmm…i don’t know. Part of me thinks struggle is part of the Hajj. To really get the flavour of the the Hijra from Mecca to Medina, one really has to take the steps our predecessors took. I.e. camels. With this railway system, it will be very easy. But then again, if it’s anything like the London Underground, then you’re going to have delays. Then again, I haven’t been to Hajj yet and so it’s very easy for me to this say this.

  3. non-Muslims aren’t allowed to even go into Makkah or Medina so they’re going to have Muslim workers there right? and whatever about giving it to China, but why was France involved?! They’re one of the WORST countries when it comes to Muslims, they banned hijab and treat Muslims there like garbage.

  4. As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    I think one word sums up why they awarded the contract to the French and Chinese: money. The Chinese could do it for less, so they got the deal, end of.

  5. But then would you award a contract for the rebuilding of the Haram to the Chinese because they would do it for less? Isn’t anything sacred anymore??
    The Haramains and land of Hijaz is sacred regardless of money – the building of this railway is a historical event and should be done by Muslims.
    The wahhabis have done nothing but violate this land, time and time again. Compare this to how the Ottomans went to great lengths to preserve our heritage there.

  6. @miloservic : It isn’t dictatorship, and to say that is bashing someone who is working on improving himself and his government.

    @ sister Farzana : The Saudis improved Haramayn more than the Uthmaanis. You need some history lessons. All the books show how the kings did far better than the ‘Uthmaani “caliphas”.


  7. Br. Ismaeel – read what I said carefully. The Ottomans PRESERVED our HERITAGE more than the Wahhabis. In 1571, Ottoman Sultan Selim II (1566-1574) commissioned the court architect Sinan to renovate the Holy Mosque. It is from this renovation that the present building dates.
    Wahhabis have expanded the Haram and improved facilities for sure -anybody would’ve done the same with the petro-dollars that the wahhabis have.
    But this is all pale in comparison to the destruction they have caused. They have destroyed libraries and buildings of heritage and turned sacred battle grounds full of the blood of martyrs into car parking lots complete with sky scraper hotels and shopping malls. All pomp and glitter. And to top it off – Ann Summers and American brands (like KFC) right outside the Haram.
    “Kings” (or rather bedouins from the desert sat on the throne by the west) have no recongnition in our deen – only Caliphs. There is no ‘kingship’ in Islam. Don’t you dare suggest that the so called ‘bedouin kings” have done better than the Ottomans. Muslims fared far better under the Ottomans, we had a Khilapha and our lands were protected and secure. We would not have had Palestine, Iraq and Afghan wars like we have now under the so called “kings” who eargerly gave use of their airspace and airbases to the allied troops so they could bomb the hell out of our brothers and sisters. This never happened under the Ottomans, you need a big history lesson brother.

  8. Ismaeel Malik should ask himself why a rail link is being put it when one was built and payed for by the Ottomans way back when? I think Malik should take his own advice and invest in a thorough study of history.

  9. How can all of you go ahead and make assumptions without knowing anything.. that is something muslims are the best at, giving judgements. It’s like anything from urban outfitters bracelets to rappers saying islam and raamdan in lyrics… everyone is quick to bash it… none of you even know the extent of this

    how do you know chinese muslims won’t be involved? there is a huge population of muslims in china. how do you know its all about the money? im sure saudi can spare a few billions or two – money isn’t an object.

    lastly, FRANCE has been HUGE proponent in certain aspects of islamic affairs in the world. condemning the wars, condemning the jews when no other major country would.

  10. I am in china.
    As i know, turkish minority muslims here are almost forbidden to go to mecca.

    Chinese muslims who go to mecca, would be together with government officers.

    I can not see how Chinese muslim can be involved.
    In my opinion, it’s all about politics.
    China wanted to enhance its influence in the mideast.
    And Saudi have seen that Saddam’s destroyed in Iraq, he may felt threatened, so he need one more ally to banlance the usa power there.

  11. @Farzana:
    Contrary to what you said, I don’t see how the Ottomans “preserved” much. They just led a laissez-faire attitude to much of the Muslim world which they “ruled” (not true, they only actually administered a few core areas around the coast of the Red Sea, Egypt, Turkey, and Shaam, and even this fell into disrepair as the Old-Man of Europe slowly decayed).

    Also, I don’t see how you can say that the bedouin Saudis were placed upon their thrones. Again, it seems you need to read up on your history, as Ismaeel mentioned. King Abdulaziz fought and founded his kingdom himself, and not by the hands of any Western overlords that you implied.

    Muslims only fared well under any Khilafa as long as it provided for the people and ruled them justly. The Ottomans were quite lacking in this in their last centuries.

    Personally, and as Ismaeel said, I think that the Haramain are being kept under much better care now under the Saudis than they were under the Ottomans. That you can just brush away all the work and renovation that’s been done to them, all the organization and systematic control which keeps it functioning so well is just ludicrous.

    Again, read up.

  12. “Also, I don’t see how you can say that the bedouin Saudis were placed upon their thrones. Again, it seems you need to read up on your history, as Ismaeel mentioned. King Abdulaziz fought and founded his kingdom himself, and not by the hands of any Western overlords that you implied.”


    Comparing the Uthmani rulers to rebels who give themselves titles is a grave insult.

  13. ^ If its not being breached by having foreign dignitaries come to KSA, its not going to be breached by having foreign construction workers.

    PS. Do a bit a research on who has done the renovations on the mosques.

  14. Yeah lets all do our own interpretations of hadiths, because we know better than scholars.

    I might ask Habib Umar what he thinks about the hadith next week. And see what he says.

  15. And its a historical fact that non muslim architects have helped in previous restorations/renovations of the two mosques.

  16. The reason why it was given to China is because of that black gungey stuff that flows under the earth. You’ll find China doing infrastructure work all over the muslim world-notably Arab countries ,West Africa and Sudan. This is because the Chinese have next to no oil and need every drop they can get their hands on; they’ll often do this by offering to do infrastructure work,build palaces for rulers (i.e. Sudan), and offer expertise that our lacking in a given country,aswell as providing very unpleasant weapons to kill people that are living above the oil (Sudan once again). A note on mosques built by non muslims in the Gulf states..they’re bloody hideous!

  17. Dear sir
    I am a project manager experienced at HSR project management and contract management,please contact with me ,I expect join the KSA HSR project.

  18. China is a friend of Islam and i am from Pakistan .
    China is best friend of Pakistan and gave us all the
    weapons which we used against (Hindus) India.
    In Pakistan china construct DAMS ,PORTS ,MOTORWAYS Everything .
    WE Pakistani Like CHinease and happy to hear that China construct
    Fast Train links Mecca and Madina.

  19. Awais your naivity scares me! China does all those nice things for you because they’re taking your oil. And do you think China isn’t selling weapons to the Hindus. You should read what the Chinese are funding in Sudan against African muslims…friend indeed! Read more!

  20. “but they couldn’t award this contract to a Muslim Nation… Oh yeah, wait we don’t make anything:(”

    I beg to differ brother…have you heard of the world-famous Bangladeshi architect Fazlur Khan?

    Among his many famous accomplishments (John Hancock Center, Sears Towers), he also designed the Hajj Terminal in Jeddah. Clearly there IS abundant talent of all stripes in the Muslim world…it’s just up to our ummah to support it and utilize it to its fullest potential.

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