Mecca Travel Guide, Saudi Arabia
Makkah Al-Mukarramah (known as Mecca or Makkah or Meccah in short) is the holiest city for people who follow Islam as their religion. Kaaba, a cuboidal structure located within the al-Masjid al-Haram mosque, happens to be the holiest monument for Muslims which they visit for the yearly Hajj pilgrimage. Around 2 million Muslims visit Mecca every year to perform Hajj. The fastest growing city is also the capital of Makkah Province of Saudi Arabia.
Muhammad, a Islamic prophet, gave birth to the religion of Islam in Mecca during the 7th century. Mecca is known for its important contributions during the period when Islam was in its infancy. Before 1924 Mecca was governed by sharifs but after 1924 Saudis took over Mecca and since then Mecca has been part of Saudi Arabia.
After Mecca went under the control of Saudi Arabia it did observe many changes and was soon recognized on the International front. In recent times Mecca has faced many changes in terms of technology and infrastructure. These days it is also an important trading center for Saudi Arabia.
In olden days Mecca was also called as Becca. It is located 80 km away from Red Sea and is 277 meters above sea level. The city has natural borders in form of mountains around it. A uniquely built mosque (The Grand Mosque) is situated in such a manner that its altitude is lower than any other land in Mecca.
Some major sources of water in the city are local wells where you find the religious water zamzam which is considered to be very pure, spring through Ayn Zubayda which has its sources from the mountains around it, and the rainfall water which was stored by locals in various reservoirs. Even though couple of areas in and around Mecca might have least sources of water still their have been many occasions when the city has faced floods like 89 floods in 1965 only. The main reason for the scarcity of water in Mecca (and rest of Arab) is their warm temperature and the lands similar to those found in deserts. It is true that most of Saudi Arabia was desert at some part of time but now it has been constructed in much planned manner.
The economy of Mecca more or less depends on the yearly pilgrimage and it is estimated that the government earns around $100 million every year. On the other hand they invest $50 million on the pilgrimage while using the rest to build the city.
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