Mecca

Mecca is located in western part of Saudi Arabia. It is the holiest city in Islam. The place, where Prophet Muhammad was born and also the birthplace of Islam.  Only Muslims are allowed to enter the city of Mecca. Known as a pilgrimage destination, so-called Hajj, it is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. All Muslims are obliged to visit this holy place if they have the physical and financial ability. During the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah, more than 3 million Muslims visit the city. Most visitors of the city follow the itinerary of the Hajj. It includes the holiest place “al-Masjid al-Harami”, the desert “Muzdalifah”, where the pilgrims spend the night, the cemetery in which companions during the time of Prophet Muhammed are buried and much more. Mecca is the safest city in Saudi Arabia. It’s ranked 95th out of 160 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous cities. The main hazard for visitors is overcrossing and stampedes. Despite the strict crowd control measures, during the month of Hajj, it kills dozens of people. Another safety concern is pickpocketing. It’s very common, because of the huge influx of tourists. In terms of violent crime, Mecca is safe

SAFETY INDEX

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Mountain Arafat It is the hill of 70 meters in height and also calling the Mount of Mercy. Arafat is the place, where the Islamic prophet Muhammed stood and delivered the Farewell Sermon to Muslims. The area around is safe, however during the Hajj, because of the high amount of pilgrims, who sometimes live in tents may look  a bit dirty and dodgy.  Great Mosque The largest mosque in the world. Hosts one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world. The area is very safe, and the only possible concerns are pickpocketing and stampedes. Therefore, it’s worth to have as less as possible valuables on you and take into the account the inadequate behavior in the crowd and be aware to react to any critical situation. The Ka’bah (The Cube) Muslims consider this place as a “House of Gods”. The Kaaba is a cubical stone structure made of granite. The center of the city and very safe place. There is only need to pay attention to pickpockets. Jabal al-Nour This spot is known as the “Mountain of Light” and very important in the Islam religion because it is where prophet Muhammad spent a lot of time meditating and it is believed that this is the place, where he received the first revelation from God. Remote area, hardly achieved by public transport, though worth visiting.  Makkah Mall A shopping center dedicated to provide all visitors an incredible shopping and gastronomic experience. It supposed to be the most important shopping center in Mecca. Both local and foreign goods and brands are presented for the customers. SafeAround advises to follow common sense and keep an eye on your belongings as this area is infamous for its high cluster of pickpockets.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : LOW

Mecca is a holy safe city. The only concerns tourists should worry about are pickpockets and crowds.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

As a frequently visited tourist destination with more than 15 million visits yearly, it is not surprising that pick-pocketing is common in Saudi Arabia. Particularly pickpocketing has its peak during pilgrimage. There’s been an increase in the number cases of pick pocketing in the area of grand Mosque and in Medina. Excessive vigilance in all public place is recommended.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : LOW

Mecca is a place where an occurrence of kidnapping and mugging is low.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : LOW

There are almost no scams known in its territory, except of the card frauds. We advise to check your bank statement regularly.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

  • Accidents while travelling on the road occur frequently. There is a threat while off-road driving. Ensure cars are well equipped and you carry enough water.
  • Outside of the main cities, the roadways vary from very good to poor condition. Many are not properly illuminated during hours of darkness.
  • Driving can be dangerous. Drivers displaying varying degrees of skill, aggressiveness, and attentiveness often maneuver erratically and at high speed, demonstrating little road discipline or courtesy
  • During the pilgrimage be ready to the overcrowded public transport, traffic jams.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Saudi Arabia experiences extremely high temperatures, which can exceed 50C. Sandstorms occur on a regular basis. Sometimes, severe thunderstorms may occur. Information on natural disasters can be obtained from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.  

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : HIGH

The likelihood of carrying out the attacks is high, especially in Mecca, as a center of Muslims. The main threat is form Daesh, that were formerly referred to ISIL. Qatif in the Eastern Province encountered 10 attacks since May 2017. We advise to be vigilant all the time.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Overall, female travellers risk in Saudi Arabia seems to be on par with main European countries, Australia, Canada or USA. SafeAround recommends taking normal safety precautious and trying to avoid visiting remote neighbourhoods late at night.

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WHAT TO DO?

Among the most interesting things to do, the following are the most common one: shopping in the authentic bazaars, where you can purchase the perfume oils, hand-made Prayer Mats and Abaya, hike the mountains of Mecca, visit Mina and the site of Stoning the devil.  

Useful Information

Visa is required for all tourists visits. Make sure your passport has at least a six-month validity from your planned date of return to the country you’re visiting. Saudi visa rules require women below the age of 45 to be accompanied by a male relative.
Saudi Riyal is the official currency of the Saudi Arabia. The best exchange rate can be found in the airports.
Apart from the Asir region on the western coast, Saudi Arabia has a desert climate. It experiences extremely high temperatures, which can exceed 50C. The hottest months of the year are from June to September.
King Fahd International Airport is the largest airport in the country. If you’re looking fore cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar.
As in any country, we advise travellers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical issues but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page.