Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Region: Makkah


Geographic Coordinates: 21.422500, 39.823300
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 45.0°C (68°F to 113°F)
Climate: Hot and dry with occasional rainfall during winter.
Population: 1675368
Language: Arabic

Mecca, Also known as Makkah, Is a city located in the western region of Saudi Arabia. It is considered to be the holiest city in Islam and is the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad. Every year millions of Muslims from all over the world visit Mecca for Hajj, One of the five pillars of Islam. The city has a rich history that dates back to pre-Islamic times. The most famous landmark in Mecca is undoubtedly the Kaaba, Which is a cube-shaped structure covered with black silk and gold embroidery.

It is believed to have been built by Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail as a house for Allah. Muslims perform Tawaf (circumambulation) around it during Hajj and Umrah (a lesser pilgrimage). Another important site in Mecca is Mount Arafat, Which lies on the outskirts of the city. It was here that Prophet Muhammad delivered his famous farewell sermon during his last pilgrimage before he passed away. The Great Mosque of Mecca or Masjid al-Haram surrounds Kaaba and can accommodate up to two million worshippers at once making it one of largest mosques on earth.

The mosque has several entrances including Bab al-Salam (Gate of Peace) and Bab al-Umrah (Gate for Umrah). Inside there are numerous prayer halls where people can pray at any time throughout day or night. Apart from its religious significance, Mecca also has many other attractions such as Jabal Al Noor Cave where Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation from Allah through Angel Jibreel; Mina Valley which hosts thousands pilgrims every year during Hajj; Zamzam Well which provides holy water used by pilgrims during their stay in Mecca.

Mecca’s economy relies heavily on tourism with hotels ranging from budget accommodations to luxury hotels like Raffles Makkah Palace Hotel offering breathtaking views over Haram Mosque area along with high-end amenities catering specifically towards the needs of Muslim pilgrims. Overall, Mecca is a city steeped in history and religious significance. It is a place where Muslims come to connect with their faith and perform one of the most important acts of worship in Islam. Despite its importance, It remains a humble city that welcomes millions of visitors every year with open arms.



Important Landmarks

  1. Kaaba
  2. Masjid al-Haram
  3. Mount Arafat
  4. Jabal al-Nour
  5. Zamzam Well
  6. Mina tents
  7. Hira Cave
  8. Jannatul Mualla Cemetery
  9. Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina (a nearby city)
  10. Makkah Clock Tower

Primary Industries

  1. Hospitality: Mecca boasts numerous hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality establishments to accommodate the millions of pilgrims who visit every year.
  2. Retail: There are many shopping centers and markets in Mecca that cater to tourists’ needs by selling souvenirs, clothing, food items etc.
  3. Construction: The city is continually expanding its infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims each year.
  4. Transportation: The transportation sector plays an essential role in transporting pilgrims from one place to another within the city.
  5. Religious services: Several religious service providers in Mecca offer guidance and support for Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage visitors.
  6. Healthcare services: Several hospitals cater specifically to Hajj or Umrah visitors with specialized medical facilities available on-site during the pilgrimage period.
  7. Education Services: Many Islamic educational institutions exist in Mecca which offer courses related to Quranic studies, Islamic history etc.

Noteable History

  1. Mecca is known as the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, who was born in 570 AD and lived there until he migrated to Medina in 622 AD.
  2. The Kaaba is a cube-shaped building located inside the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca, which Muslims around the world face towards during their daily prayers.
  3. Every year, millions of Muslims from all over the world travel to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage, which is one of Islam’s five pillars.
  4. In 624 AD, a battle took place between Prophet Muhammad’s followers and an army from Mecca called the Battle of Badr.
  5. Khadija bint Khuwaylid was Prophet Muhammad’s first wife and one of his most trusted companions who was born in Mecca.
  6. Before Islam, Mecca served as an important trading center for merchants traveling between Asia and Africa throughout history.
  7. During Umayyad Caliphate (661-750 AD), Mecca became its capital city before it was eventually moved to Damascus later on.
  8. Abu Bakr al-Siddiq was one of Prophet Muhammad’s closest companions and his first successor as leader (caliph) after his death who hailed from Mecca.
  9. Zamzam well located near Kaaba has been believed by Muslims as a miraculous source of water that has been flowing since ancient times.
  10. Saudi Arabia recently started a major expansion project at Masjid Al Haram mosque complex in order to expand its capacity from accommodating 900k worshippers per day to over 2 million per day with new facilities and services available for pilgrims visiting it annually during Hajj pilgrimage season or otherwise.

Museums and Things To See

  1. The Great Mosque of Mecca (Masjid al-Haram)
  2. Kaaba
  3. Makkah Museum
  4. Jabal Al-Nour
  5. Mount Arafat
  6. Mina Valley
  7. Masjid e Taneem
  8. Hira Cave
  9. Zamzam Well
  10. Safa and Marwah


Sports Teams

  1. There are no professional sports teams in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
  2. However, there are several local amateur sports clubs and organizations that provide opportunities for residents to participate in various sports such as:
    • Football (soccer)
    • Basketball
    • Volleyball
    • Cricket
  3. These clubs include:
    • Al-Wehda Club
    • Al-Qadisiyah Club
    • Al-Nahdha Club
    • Al-Shabab Club
  4. Additionally, Mecca hosts an annual marathon race during the Hajj season called the Makkah Marathon which attracts runners from around the world.


Cultural Events

  1. Hajj: The annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca is the largest gathering of Muslims in the world.
  2. Eid al-Fitr: A three-day festival that marks the end of Ramadan and includes prayer services, gift-giving, and feasting.
  3. Eid al-Adha: A four-day festival that commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael and includes prayer services, animal sacrifices, and feasting.
  4. Makkah Cultural Forum: An annual event that celebrates Saudi Arabian culture through art exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and performances.
  5. Souq Okaz Festival: A historical reenactment of a pre-Islamic Arabian market that features poetry recitations, camel races, archery competitions, and traditional crafts.
  6. Janadriyah Heritage Festival: An annual event held in Riyadh that showcases Saudi Arabian heritage through music performances, dance shows, handicrafts displays, and other cultural activities.
  7. Al-Balad Music Festival: An annual music festival held in Jeddah featuring local musicians and international artists from different genres like Jazz and Rock etc.

Cuisine

  • Al Baik: This fast-food chain is famous for its crispy fried chicken and is a must-visit for anyone visiting Mecca.
  • Al Tazaj: Specializing in grilled chicken, this restaurant has several branches across the city.
  • Al Fatair Al Makkiah: A traditional bakery that serves delicious pastries and bread.
  • Shawarma Shakir: Known for its mouth-watering shawarmas, this restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
  • Kudu: Another popular fast-food chain that serves burgers, sandwiches, and fries.
  • Al Zad Restaurant: This upscale restaurant offers a variety of Middle Eastern dishes with stunning views of the city from its rooftop terrace.
  • Majeed Restaurant: A family-friendly eatery serving traditional Saudi Arabian cuisine such as mandi (rice with meat) and kabsa (spiced rice with meat).
  • Al Khodariyah Restaurant: This restaurant specializes in seafood dishes such as grilled fish and shrimp cooked in traditional Saudi Arabian style.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Al Hijaz Park: A large public park located in the heart of Mecca that features playgrounds, walking trails, picnic areas, and a small zoo.
    2. Jabal al-Nour: A popular hiking destination for locals and tourists alike. The mountain offers stunning views of the city and is home to the famous Cave of Hira where Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation.
    3. Al Diyafa Mall: A modern shopping mall that offers a variety of entertainment options including a cinema complex, bowling alley, and arcade games.
    4. Al-Rusaifah Park: Located on the outskirts of Mecca near Mina, this park is known for its beautiful gardens and water features.
    5. Abraj Al Bait Mall: This massive shopping complex is located next to the Holy Mosque and features numerous shops as well as a large indoor theme park called The Land.
    6. Masjid Taneem Park: A peaceful park located near Masjid Taneem where pilgrims perform Umrah rituals.
    7. King Abdul Aziz Endowment Project (KAAEP): This project aims to create green spaces around important religious sites in Mecca including the Holy Mosque and Mount Safa & Marwa.
    8. Mount Safa & Marwa Park: This historic site is now home to a beautiful landscaped park with walking paths and seating areas for visitors to enjoy while reflecting on their pilgrimage experience.

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