Mecca is a city with 1,484,858 inhabitants (2010) in western Saudi Arabia . It is the capital of the province of Mecca in the region of Hijaz . Mecca is the birthplace of Mohammed , the prophet of Islam and the holiest city of Muslims . Each year a pilgrimage around 2.5 million Muslims for Hajj to this shrine , while non-Muslims from entering the city is traditionally prohibited.
Mecca is located about 90 km from the Red Sea , between the coastal plain and the highlands in a desert basin, enclosed between two mountain chains. The deeper part of the city around the Kaaba is the older settlement core and the upper town is situated in the north. Because of the many in the urban area projecting into the mountains and hills, it was necessary to build more tunnel.
In recent years, significant growth was observed to Mecca each year nearly 200,000 people, this is accompanied by an urban redevelopment, which makes for example, to the holy sites around especially noticeable. All been low and sparsely developed hillside settlements were demolished and the land leveled to make way for large buildings, especially to create pilgrims hotel. South of the Grand Holy Mosque in 2010 created a massive hotel complex, which focuses on the highest of the Abraj Al Bait Towers will create more than 600 meters, the new city crown.
Mecca has a small airport with no scheduled flights. The Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport and the Port of Jeddah , are important infrastructure for the pilgrims. In the future, a railroad route from Jeddah to Mecca are being built by a Spanish consortium. Several metro lines are planned.