With a footprint that’s just as grand as its connotations, Makkah Province covers 153,148 square kilometres of Saudi Arabia. Mecca is the beating heart of the province and is considered the holiest city in Islam. Jeddah steps up as the commercial capital of the Kingdom, while the mountainous cities of Taif, Hada and Shaffa are beautiful places to visit during the summer months.
Makkah Province is enchanting, despite the modernity that saw Mecca transformed into a 21st century city, as its desert roots give it a rustic Arabian feel. Local markets bustle alongside air-conditioned malls, all under the watchful eye of the world’s largest mosque.
Makkah Province sits on the western coast of Arabian Peninsula, with the port city of Jeddah acting as the gateway to the region. The airport is well connected by both national and international flights, with most travellers choosing to hire a car or a private driver to get around. It’s important to note that it’s strictly forbidden for non-Muslims to enter the city of Mecca. So, while travellers can explore the wider Makkah Province, stepping foot in the holy city itself is not allowed.
As the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, making the Hajj pilgrimage to the city of Mecca is an incredibly emotional experience for Muslims. Most make the journey, as it’s one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is considered obligatory for those that are financially and physically capable.