The Mataf is the circular area around the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam, where millions of Muslims perform the ritual of tawaf, or circumambulation, as part of their pilgrimage to Makkah.
The Mataf is covered with white marble tiles that remain cool even in the scorching heat of the summer, when temperatures can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius. Many pilgrims have wondered how this is possible and what is the secret behind the coolness of the Mataf. According to a report by Zawya, the answer lies in a sophisticated cooling system that was installed under the Mataf in 2008, as part of a major expansion project of the Grand Mosque. The system consists of pipes that circulate chilled water under the marble tiles, as well as air vents that blow cold air from below.
The system also uses sensors that monitor the temperature and humidity levels and adjust the cooling accordingly. The system is designed to reduce the heat by 10 to 15 degrees Celsius and to create a comfortable environment for the pilgrims. The cooling system is one of the many features that make the Grand Mosque a marvel of engineering and architecture.
The mosque also has a retractable roof, a movable floor, a giant clock tower, and a state-of-the-art sound system. The mosque can accommodate up to two million worshippers at a time and covers an area of 356,000 square meters.
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