The Hajj Terminal is one of three terminals at the King Abdulaziz International and one of the biggest in the world.

It was designed to accommodate pilgrims to Mecca, and more than 8 million people pass through the facility each year.

The building was designed by the US’ Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and has a distinctive tent-like roof. When it opened in 1981, it had the world’s largest cable-stayed, fabric-roofed structure.

In December 2006, a joint venture of Saudi Binladin Group and France’s Aeroports de Paris won a $249m contract to upgrade the Hajj Terminal to improve its infrastructure and reduce waiting times.

The 20-year build-operate-transfer project included the upgrade and operation of the 500,000-square-metre terminal and the construction of permanent buildings.

The expansion of the Hajj Terminal was the first time the Saudi government had turned to private funding for an airport project.

The work was funded by a $200m Islamic project finance deal with three banks. The International Finance Corporation advised the government on the public-private partnership.

The project was completed in 2010. The terminal is expected to serve 11 million people a year by 2022.