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Meaning & History
Possibly from Phoenician maqaq meaning "ruined" or Arabic mahrab meaning "sanctuary". The official name of the city is مكة المكرمة (Makkah al-Mukarramah / Makkatu l-Mukarramah) meaning "Mecca the Honored" or "The Holy City of Mecca". Mecca is the holiest Islamic city, and it is a Muslim's goal to visit the city at least once in their lifetime (called "hajj" meaning "pilgrimage").
Since the English version of the city's name also means any place that draws a lot of people, many Muslims dislike this spelling.