(MENAFN - Arab News) The Ministry of Justice has suspended all land sales in the area designated for the expansion of the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah.
Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Isa, minister of justice, chief justice of the General Court and the first justice notary of Madinah, said the decision was taken to prevent any future disputes involving owners and businesspeople.
Al-Eqtisadiah was able to obtain a copy of the decision, based on a telegram from the minister of finance dated March 17, which refers to the decree approving the expansion by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
The suspension covers all sales, merging and division of real estate in the area up to the East Ring Road. Al-Isa instructed the court and the Justice Notary to implement the decision. Abdul Ghani Al-Ansari, chairman of the tourism committee at the Madinah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the suspension should not be rushed. He said property owners in the expansion area need some clarity and transparency from the Development Authority of Madinah and the Ministry of Finance to determine the location where construction will take place. Owners also need to get information on when the project will start and end.
Al-Ansari said owners need to identify alternatives if their real estate and hotels are going to be part of the expansion. The private sector was a partner and should be informed and involved in the decision-making process, he added.
According to reports earlier this month, the expansion will see the mosque accommodate 1.6 million worshippers. It will take two years to complete. Final details are yet to be announced.