Saudi Arabia has 100,000 empty air conditioned tents that is capable of housing over 3 million people, but they have not taken in any refugees from Syria.
Located in the city of Mina, this network of tents spreads over a 20 square km valley. The only time they are used is by the Hajj pilgrims, and this is only 5 days a year.
These tents are 8 meters by 8 meters and were a permanent construction in the 1990’s by the Saudi government and later upgraded to be fireproof in 1997. They are split into camps that include bathroom and kitchen facilities.
The Saudis argue that the tents are to host the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. This seems weird considering the Arabic concept of Ummah is offering protection for all Muslims under on brotherhood. Surely there is another location that can be used for the pilgrimage so that refugees fleeing ISIS persecution and war can have a place to live for the time being.
The Gulf Arab states are only throwing money at the problem, meaning that they are not pulling their own weight in this crisis. Europe can potentially receive millions of refugees who do not share the same religion and culture as the host population, which has a chance to cause disturbances throughout the population, but Mina is still empty.
The hypocrisy of the wealthy Gulf Arab states are being represented by this empty tent city as it looks like the Saudis will not be inviting any Syrian refugees to stay there.
Almost all of the 4 million refugees from Syria can be housed in these tents. The Washington Post reports that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and other wealthy Gulf Arab nations have take in zero Syrian refugees. Lebanon, however, has taken in 1.3 million, this is more than a quarter of their population.