Next to Mecca, Medina is named as the second holiest city by the Muslims since it served as the home of their prophet Muhammad. The prophet’s burial place or the Tomb of the Prophet Muhammad or the Mosque of the Prophet, known as Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Islam, is also situated in this holy city. Islam followers come to the said tomb to give honor and worship the prophet annually; they believe that praying before the prophet’s tomb is equivalent to 1000 prayers offered in ordinary mosques.
Aside from Muhammad’s tomb, the city also holds the tomb of his daughter, Fatimah, and the first caliph, Abu Bakr, who is also his wife’s father. These tombs are found in Jannat al-Baqi, just across the prophet’s tomb. The tomb of the second caliph, Omar, which has been burned and reconstructed twice, is also found there.
Medina is an oval-shaped city bordered by a strong wall about 9.1 to 12m (30 to 40 ft) high. This structure dates back to the 12 century C.E. and is lined by exquisite towers. There are four gates that enclose the city but the most beautiful of them is the Bab-al-Salam, or the Egyptian gate.
If you are planning on a trip to this holy place, there is a host of fine hotels that are open for you. Take for instance, the oriental-inspired hotel, Hotel Elaf Taibah, located opposite to the Masjid- Nabawi. Internationally-renowned hotels could also be found in the city such as Hilton Medina, which is just a short walk away from the sacred prophet’s mosque. This hotel is also located in the heart of the shopping borough of the city; hence, you could do a little shopping without a sweat.
Another highlight of Medina is the Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz Airport which started operating in 1974. The airport is consists of an average of 20-25 flights each day. However, during the Islamic month, this number multiplies to accommodate the millions of devotees and tourists worldwide.
When it comes to the business aspect, Medina has devised a means to encourage more business and job opportunities. This is through Medina Knowledge Economic City project which is keen on developing knowledge-based trade and industries in the city.