Makkah & Medina

Saudi Arabia Makkah & Medina

As home to the world’s most important Islamic sites – including the Masjid Al Haram, or Grand Mosque, which houses the Kaaba – the holy cities of Makkah and Medina are at the centre of religious life for the world’s 1.2bn-strong Muslim population. Located near Jeddah, in western Saudi Arabia, each year the two cities attract millions of religious visitors performing the annual pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah. In an attempt to cope with the ever-expanding resident population as well as the rising influx of yearly visitors, the government has rolled out a series of overlapping, comprehensive strategies in recent years aimed at updating and expanding the Makkah and Medina regions’ transport networks, housing stock, utilities systems and related facilities.

This chapter contains an interview with Osama Al-Bar, Mayor of Makkah.