Mataf, also known as the area of circumambulation, refers to the space in the Grand Mosque in Mecca where Muslims perform the Tawaf ritual during the Hajj pilgrimage and Umrah. The Tawaf ritual involves walking around the Kaaba seven times in a counterclockwise direction while reciting prayers.
The Mataf area is located on the ground floor of the Grand Mosque and encompasses the courtyard surrounding the Kaaba. It is a large open space that can accommodate millions of worshippers at a time, making it one of the busiest and most crowded places in the world during the Hajj season.
In recent years, the Saudi government has undertaken several major expansion projects to increase the capacity of the Mataf area and improve the flow of pilgrims during the Tawaf ritual. These projects have included the construction of new bridges, tunnels, and pedestrian pathways to help manage the crowds and reduce congestion.