Mecca /ˈmɛkə/, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah[a] and commonly shortened to Makkah[b] is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the holiest city in Islam. It is 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah on the Red Sea, in a narrow valley 277 m (909 ft) above sea level. Its last recorded population was 1,578,722 in 2015. Its estimated metro population in 2020 is 2.042 million, making it the third-most populated city in Saudi Arabia after Riyadh and Jeddah. Pilgrims more than triple this number every year during the Ḥajj pilgrimage, observed in the twelfth Hijri month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah.