The monorail will link Mecca with the holy sites at Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, providing a mass transit system for the thousands of pilgrims to visit the area each year.

The project is scheduled for completion within two years, but should be open with limited capacity for this year’s Hajj.

The contract is the second major rail project won by a Chinese firm this month, following the successful bid by the Al-Rajhi Alliance for the civil works contract on the Haramain high-speed rail link between Mecca and Medina.

The consortium, led by the local Al-Rajhi and Mada groups, includes China Railway Engineering Corporation (MEED 8:2:09).