Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport serves the province of Al Madinah Al-Munawarah, including capital city of Medina - also known as Madinah - in the west of Saudi Arabia. Considered the second Holy City of Islam (after Mecca), non-Muslims are not permitted to enter Medina (as with Mecca). Prince Mohammad airport was named after Muhammad bin Abdelaziz Al Saud, a prominent member of the royal Saud family, and was operational from the 1970s. Originally opened as a domestic airport, flight services were expanded to include international flights to neighbouring areas - such as the Middle East - due to massive demand during the Hajj and Umrah seasons.
Prince Mohammad Airport is the fourth busiest in Saudi Arabia (as of January 2015).
Prince Mohammad Airport is located about 15 kilometres from Medina. Travellers have the option of renting a car from rental agencies that can be found at the Domestic Arrivals Hall at Terminal 1 of the airport, or taking a taxi direct to their destination (fares are dependent on the type of cab and distance travelled).
Do note that women are not permitted to drive within Saudi Arabia (as of January 2015).
What to see and do
If you manage to enter Medina don’t miss a visit to the massive and magnificent Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, a work of architectural art in gold and marble. Considered the second holiest site in Islam, the Prophet’s Mosque (as it is also known) was originally built by Prophet Muhammad after his move to Medina and is now one of the oldest and largest mosques in the world. Its immense history and significance can be witnessed in the fact that the architectural style the Prophet’s Mosque was built in has now been replicated in countless mosques around the world. Though the original structure - comprising its inner core - was constructed in ancient history, most of the compound today is the result of expansion works done by various Islamic leaders over the centuries that its been standing. Today, it holds the bodies of Muhammad and other Islamic leaders such as Abu Bakr and Umar.
After the Al-Masjid, the Quba Mosque is the next must-see in Medina. Considered the oldest mosque in the world, it was built in year 622 again by the Prophet Muhammad - who positioned its first stones - immediately upon his arrival in Medina. Its importance is further boosted by the fact that it was constructed in the first year of the Islamic calendar.
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