Flights to Saudi Arabia
Medina is a city of major religious and spiritual significance in Saudi Arabia. Around nine million Muslims catch flights to Medina each year for religious pilgrimage. The main attraction for visitors is Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, where they can visit the burial place of the Prophet and pray in Alrawdah Alsharefah. Alrawdah is considered by Islam as a garden from heaven where prayers will be answered.
Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, or the Prophet’s Mosque, in the city centre attracts thousands of Muslims every day. People travel from all over the world for a chance to see the place where a mosque was built by the Prophet and the site that is now his burial place. Like the majority of the city, the mosque lies in Medina’s forbidden zone, meaning it is accessible only to Muslims, who are provided with an exclusive view of the architecture of the famous Green Dome. They can also see four Orthodox Caliph’s mosques that were renovated and preserved by government.
Outside the perimeter, the streets are packed with street sellers offering souvenirs and local artefacts, including intricately sewn prayer mats and copies of the Quran.
Pilgrims and Muslim visitors can also get a glimpse of other sacred sites such as Al-Baqi, where the Prophet’s companions and family members are buried, and a number of other historic mosques, including the Quba Mosque.
Outside of the forbidden zone, you can stay at one of the internationally renowned hotels, like Le Méridien (previously Sheraton).
The huge influx of different nationalities each year has brought with it a variety of languages, cultures and cuisines to Medina. Lebanese, Turkish, Indian and Persian restaurants now line Medina’s streets, while huge Arabic shopping malls selling international wares sit next to American and European hotels. It’s typical of the city’s fascinating mix of old and new.