Mecca is the religious capital of Islam and a popular travel destination. With so many who visit this city, it should be no surprise that there are a number of stores and shops to satisfy visitors’ re needs.
Streets and Markets
Khalid Ibn Al Waleed is a well-travelled street in Mecca. Most pilgrims pass this street on their way to the grand mosque. This is a street where visitors can buy almost everything they need, from prayer carpets to sandwiches and juices. The stores along the street sell many other items, such as veils and perfume. One interesting item that can be found on sale is a compass that will locate the Ka’aba from any point in the world. While many of these items are related to the Muslim religion, visitors can also buy clothing if they need to. Many retail shops also sell small souvenirs for you to take home, including toys, bags, and other items to remind you of your journey. Most of the souvenir shops are located within a few steps of the Holy Mosque. At Ramadan, this street becomes heavily congested as travelers arrive.
Visitors can also wander off the beaten path and take to the back street shops around Makkah. There is an abundance of market traders in the area. However, visitors must remember to bargain with all traders, in both large stores and small stalls. They usually add about 20% to 35% on top of their prices. If you look or act European or American, don’t be surprised if you start haggling from 200 Riyals when in fact the product is locally sold for between 50 to 100 Riyals.
While there is plenty of shopping to be done in the streets and markets, there is also a shopping complex that offers a diverse selection of goods. The Bin Dawood shopping complex is only a minutes’ walk from the main gate of the Harem. It is housed on the Hilton Hotel grounds along the first floor. Visitors will find that they can buy nearly whatever they want there, particularly things not sold in the outter markets. You can buy everything from dates to sportswear, expensive swiss watches, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. The selection is quite different from other parts of the city. It also houses a dozen eateries and tons of different specialty shops. There is even an auction house in the complex.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about shops, stores, and shopping in Mecca.