Destination Makkah: Gateway to the City
Five times every day, more than 1.5 billion Muslims across the globe face the holiest site in Islam, the Kaaba, in the Holy City of Makkah to pray. The Kaaba is held within the world’s largest mosque, Al-Masjid Al-Haram, a site all Muslims are required to visit once in their lifetime (those who can afford to do so) when performing the Hajj pilgrimage.
Makkah, the capital of Makkah Province in Saudi Arabia, sits more than 70 kilometers inland from the Red Sea. The city boasts a population of more than 1.5 million, though Makkah can attract as many as 3 million residents and pilgrims at one time during the Hajj. The Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, which is a tradition associated with the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) from the 7th century. The city is also home to numerous other holy sites and attractions available to visitors throughout the year.
Direct Access to the Holy Sites
Just 50 steps from Masjid al-Haram is your destination, Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower. Rising over 600 meters, Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower blends modern architecture with Islamic heritage, and offers panoramic views over Al-Masjid Al-Haram and Kaaba.
The 76-story hotel is the fourth tallest freestanding structure in the world. It announces daily prayer to visitors and pilgrims via the 40-meter clock atop the tower and Masjid al Haram is directly accessible from the hotel by more than 50 elevators.
If you wish to visit other attractions in Makkah, speak with your concierge to arrange transportation to the many noteworthy holy sites around the city. You may want to visit Qasr As-Saqqaf, one of the oldest buildings in Makkah, in the Al-Ma’abda quarter on Al-Abtah Street.
The palace was the center of government during the reign of King Abdul Aziz, later becoming the headquarters of the Makkah governorate and Muslim World League. The two-story palace features a military tower with rectangular skylights and ventilations. Its traditional architectural design and unique Islamic motifs make Qasr As-Saqqaf a memorable stop.
Zamzam, the miraculously-generated well, lies about 20 meters east of the Kaaba and Makkah. This well has been producing water for thousands of years. Jabal Al-Nour, or Mountain of the Light, is another holy site east of Makkah, which is the home of the Hira cave where the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) received his first revelations from God.
You’ll need to climb 600 steps to reach the small cave atop the mountain, but 5,000 Muslims climb to the top daily to experience this important event in the life of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and to see the place where their religion was revealed.
Shopping and Dining Right Outside Your Door
Whether you’re returning to Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower after a day of exploring, or sharing lunch before heading out into the city, dining options are limitless. The hotel offers nine venues, with everything from casual fare to upscale dining.
For a more casual dining experience, try Atyaf, a contemporary, all-day restaurant that offers cuisines from the Middle East, Asia, North Africa, the Levant and the Mediterranean region. Make sure you stop by the pizza and pasta station to create your own delicious dish.
Plan to enjoy a meal at Aja, as well. The Asian-themed restaurant offers fresh noodles, dim sum and soups. There’s also a great selection of Indonesian cuisine, including Mee Goreng, one of Indonesia’s most well-known dishes.
For a lighter option, visit Mazaq, where you can taste an extensive array of coffees and teas, as well as French pastries and snacks. Be sure to consult the tea sommelier to make the most of your experience.
The adjacent four-story mall in Abraj Al-Bait Towers provides even more dining opportunities. In the food court, you can find just about anything imaginable, from local fare to Starbucks coffee.
If you are looking for an afternoon of shopping, you don’t even need to leave the hotel, as the mall is a short walk from your room. Clothing and accessory brands from around the world are found here, as well as mobile-phone stores and a supermarket.
A different kind of shopping experience awaits out the back entrance of the mall. Explore the Ibrahim Al Khalil Road area, where you can grab a quick bite at a local café or pick up gifts for family and friends at one of the many bookstores or markets.
Whether you are simply visiting Makkah or performing the Hajj pilgrimage, Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower offers a memorable experience. Direct access to the holiest sites and attractions, as well as convenient shopping and dining right outside your door, make your stay a perfect blend of reverence and relaxation. For more information or to make reservations visit the hotel’s website.
For seasonal savings at Fairmont properties, take advantage of our Summer Sale until August 15, 2016.
Masjidul Haraam, Makkah by menj
Jabal el Noor. (Mt. Light) by limite~increible
Holy Ka’ba by Camera Eye