The Hejaz (or Hijaz) covers the central Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. Home to both commercial hub Jeddah and the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina, this is where the famous railway from Damascus led in its brief heyday, and while politically somewhat eclipsed by Riyadh, Jeddah in particular remains the most cosmopolitan city in the country.
Arabic is the official language of the region. However, due to pilgrims coming from all over the world most if not all major world languages are spoken, especially Urdu, Hindi, Bengali and English.
A new high speed rail line, the Haramain line, has been built on a Mecca-Jeddah-Medina route. There is also stations at Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport and the planned King Abdullah Economic City.
Conservative clothing is not optional when traveling through here, especially for women. Women are strongly advised to wear a hijab, or head covering, and need to wear long pants and conservative upper-wear. Men are advised to be equally cautious in appearance.