Each year, more than two million Muslims visit the Holy Mosque at Mecca for three days and nights. Mina Valley in Saudi Arabia is one of the stations housing pilgrims, but a 1997 fire during Hajj destroyed thousands of cotton tents used for shelter there. Saudi authorities are rebuilding the Mina Valley tent city of fireproof Taconic Solus 1420, a PTFE-coated fiberglass membrane selected after a worldwide competition for the project’s first phase.
Taconic Architectural Fabrics Division, Mullingar, Ireland, supplied 330,000 square meters of Solus 1420 within four months. By the end of the project, an estimated 40,000 tents will stretch to the horizon. The tent city of Mina is one of the 55 city projects worldwide selected for exhibition at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai. A 20-member jury picked winners from 226 entries for the exposition’s Urban Best Practices Area. “Saudi Arabia was the only Asian Arab country to win a place in the expo,” says Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Asheikh, deputy minister of municipal and rural affairs for town planning in Mina.