Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National
Guard, yesterday unveiled a memorial plaque to open the first phase of the new campus of
Umm Al-Qura University at Al-Bidiya in Makkah. The first phase, with an estimated cost of
over SR 570 million (U.S. $ 152 million), includes a complex for supply of water, stations for
utilities, car parks, service tunnels, and buildings for the faculties of Shari'ah (Islamic Law)
and Islamic Studies, Engineering, and Islamic Architecture, in addition to the university's
Crown Prince Abdullah also laid the foundation stone for the second phase of the project,
which will include a College of Medicine, an Institute for Arabic language for non-native
speakers, an English language center, a college of education and the central library.
Inspecting the facilities at the College of Shari'ah and Islamic Studies, Crown Prince Abdullah
recorded a message in the visitors' book to the effect that it was the first college of the
university, established by King Abdul Aziz fifty years ago. The Crown Prince then visited the
other colleges and viewed educational exhibitions.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khaled Al-Angary announced that a
new college of medicine for women is to be established as per the directives of Crown Prince
Abdullah, who has given instructions that it be ready by next academic year. Dr. Angary noted
that there are now eight universities in the Kingdom with 69 colleges offering studies in 389
specializations. He then presented a model of the university as a gift to the Crown Prince.
Governor of Makkah Province Prince Majed Ibn Abdul Aziz gave a speech commending the
Crown Prince's directives, which, he said, reflect concern and attention to the provision of
whatever is for the benefit of the citizens, removing all obstacles before them, ensuring their
rights, and encouraging them to utilize their potentials and abilities in the best way possible.
In reply, Crown Prince Abdullah praised the foundation of the modern Kingdom and said this
unification had not emerged from out of nowhere but was the outcome of historical closeness
and depth, rising up from needs embodied in the firm belief in God Almighty and the Sunnah
(sayings of the Prophet).
Umm Al-Qura University currently has about 23,000 students in its two campuses in Makkah
and in Taif.