Country: Saudi Arabia
Area 1,200 km2
Languages spoken Arabic
Currency Saudi riyal
In pre-modern Makkah the most common sports were impromptu wrestling and foot races. Football is the most popular sport in Makkah, the city hosting some of the oldest sport clubs in Saudi Arabia such as, Al-Wahda FC (established in 1945). King Abdulaziz Stadium is the largest stadium in Makkah with capacity of 38,000.
Makkah’s culture has been affected by the large number of pilgrims that arrive annually, and thus boasts a rich cultural heritage. As a result of the vast numbers of pilgrims coming to the city each year, Makkah has become by far the most diverse city in the Muslim world. In contrast to the rest of Saudi Arabia, and particularly Nejd, Makkah has, according to The New York Times, become “a striking oasis” of free thought and discussion and, also, of “unlikely liberalism” as “Meccans see themselves as a bulwark against the creeping extremism that has overtaken much Islamic debate”