Makkah, often referred to as Mecca, is the capital and administrative headquarters of the Makkah region in Saudi Arabia. Its population drastically inflates every year, with pilgrims making the Hajj pilgrimage during the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah. It is served by King Abdulaziz International Airport, located just over one hour away at Jeddah. The Metro service currently transports pilgrims to the holy sites of Mount Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina, with four new lines set to be added, along with a new high-speed intercity rail line.
The local economy is reliant on the annual pilgrimage and due to the convenience and affordability of air travel, the number of pilgrims participating in the Hajj continues to increase. Service oriented industries thrive in the region, with many people employed throughout the year to oversee the Hajj and staff the hotels and shops that cater to pilgrims. Industries in corrugated iron manufacturing, copper, textiles, furniture and food also operate in Mecca.
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