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Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah, Arabic: مكة المكرمة) is a holy Islamic city in Saudi Arabia's Makkah province, in the historic Hejaz region. It sits in a valley surrounded by low hills. The city is located 45 miles (73 kilometers) inland from Jeddah, in the narrow sandy Valley of Abraham, 277 metres (909 ft) above sea level. It is located 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the Red Sea.</p> <p>The city is revered by Muslims for containing the holiest site of Islam, the Masjid al-Haram. A pilgrimage that involves an extended visit to the city is required of all able-bodied Muslims who can afford to go at least once in an individual's lifetime. People of other faiths are forbidden from entering the holy city.</p> <p>The English word mecca, meaning ``a place to which many people are attracted`` is derived from Makkah.

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