Mecca (or Makkah), situated in Saudi Arabia's western region, is a city like no other. Revered as the holiest city in Islam, it sees millions of Muslim visitors annually for Hajj and Umrah. Beyond its religious significance, Mecca is a sprawling city with modern amenities, residential areas, and a rich history.
Pros of Living in Mecca:
- Spiritual Significance: For Muslims, living close to the Masjid al-Haram is a unique spiritual experience.
- Growing Infrastructure: The city has seen considerable development, especially in transport and housing.
- Cultural Hub: Mecca offers a deep dive into Islamic history and Arabian culture.
- Economic Opportunities: With religious tourism, there's a thriving economy and various job opportunities, especially in the hospitality sector.
- Community: The bond of shared faith creates a strong sense of community.
Cons of Living in Mecca:
- Overcrowding: Hajj season sees millions flocking to the city, causing overcrowding.
- Limited Entertainment: Given its religious nature, entertainment options are more restricted compared to other Saudi cities.
- Weather: Mecca's desert climate means scorching summers.
- High Cost of Living: Due to its significance, some areas in Mecca can be pricier.
Top 10 Independent Schools in Mecca (with average fees):
(For the precise details of schools and fees, please contact each school directly)
- Al Noor International School: A leading international school "offering a broad curriculum". Average Fees: SAR 20,000 annually.
- Al-Hekma International School: Claims an holistic approach to education. Average Fees: SAR 25,000 annually.
- British International School of Mecca: Offering the British curriculum. Average Fees: SAR 30,000 annually.
- Rowad Al Khaleej International School: Emphasises academic and extracurricular activities. Average Fees: SAR 28,000 annually.
- Al-Quraish International School: A blend of Saudi and international curricula. Average Fees: SAR 22,000 annually.
- Manarat Makkah International School: Part of the Manarat group of schools. Average Fees: SAR 23,000 annually.
- Al-Faisaliah Islamic School: Combines religious and modern education. Average Fees: SAR 18,000 annually.
- Green Hills International School: A stated focus on character development and academic achievement. Average Fees: SAR 24,000 annually.
- Al-Anjal Private School: Claims excellence in the sciences. Average Fees: SAR 19,000 annually.
- Jeddah International School, Mecca Branch: Said to offer a diverse learning environment. Average Fees: SAR 27,000 annually.
Best Areas to Live in Mecca (with average rents):
- Al-Zahir: A modern district close to the holy sites. Average Rent: SAR 2,500/month for a 2-bedroom flat.
- Al-Naseem: A residential area known for its amenities. Average Rent: SAR 2,300/month for a 2-bedroom flat.
- Aziziyah: Close proximity to Masjid al-Haram and popular among expats. Average Rent: SAR 3,000/month for a 2-bedroom flat.
- Umm Al-Joud: A serene neighborhood ideal for families. Average Rent: SAR 2,400/month for a 2-bedroom flat.
Best Areas to Live in Mecca and Why:
- Al-Hujun: It's quieter, offers great amenities, and is still relatively close to the central holy sites.
- Jarwal: For those looking for a blend of tradition and modernity, it's a lively area with markets and newer establishments.
- Al-Khalidiyya: Its parks, modern residences, and shopping areas make it appealing for both singles and families.
Weather in Mecca:
Compared to the rest of KSA, Mecca experiences hotter summers with temperatures often surpassing 40°C. Winters are milder, hovering around 18-24°C. The city receives minimal rainfall, mainly between November and January.
Who Lives in Mecca Now?
Mecca's population is diverse. While there's a strong local presence, many come from various countries, primarily due to religious reasons. The expat community includes people from South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and other Middle Eastern countries. Many residents work in sectors serving the pilgrims, such as hospitality, transportation, and retail.
Mecca, Our View
Living in Mecca offers a unique blend of spirituality and day-to-day life in a bustling city. The constant influx of pilgrims adds to its vibrancy. Whether you're seeking spiritual solace, economic opportunity, or a deep cultural experience, Mecca provides an unparalleled experience in the heart of Saudi Arabia.