Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has ordered the expansion of the courtyards on the eastern and western sides of the Prophet’s Mosque. Welcoming the decision, Madinah Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Majed said the project would reduce crowding at the mosque and create space for the increasing number of worshippers. Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Falih, vice president for the Prophet’s Mosque affairs at the Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques, commended the king’s decision and said it would facilitate movement of worshippers. He said more public amenities, such as places for ablution, toilets and parking would be provided. Yousuf Hawala, president of Madinah Guides, highlighted Madinah’s position as the first capital of the Islamic state. “Since then the number of people living in Madinah has been increasing day by day,” he said. Hawala said the number of pilgrims coming for Umrah annually would increase to 10 million in the near future.