|City of Jeddah
|Nickname(s): The Bride of the Red Sea|
Location of Jeddah
|Joint Saudi Arabia||1925|
|- Mayor||Adil Faqeeh|
|- City Governor||Mish'al Al-Saud|
|- Provincial Governor||Khalid al Faisal|
|- Urban||1,320 km2 (509.7 sq mi)|
|- Metro||3,000 km2 (1,158.3 sq mi)|
|- Density||2,921/km2 (1,826/sq mi)|
|Jeddah Municipality estimate|
|Time zone||EAT (UTC+3)|
|- Summer (DST)||EAT (UTC+3)|
|Postal Code||(5 digits)|
Jeddah (also spelled Jiddah, Jidda, or Jedda; Arabic: جدّة Jidda) is a Saudi Arabian city located on the coast of the Red Sea and is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Makkah Province, the largest sea port on the Red Sea, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. The population of the city currently stands at over 3.4 million. It is considered the second commercial capital of Saudi Arabia.
Residents of Jeddah are called Jeddawis or Jeddans.
There are at least two explanations for the etymology of the name Jeddah, according to Jeddah Ibn Helwaan Al-Qudaa'iy, the chief of the Quda'a clan. The more common account has it that the name is derived from Jaddah, the Arabic word for "grandmother". According to eastern folk belief, the tomb of Eve ( ), considered the grandmother of humanity, is located in Jeddah. The Tomb was sealed with concrete by the religious authorities in 1975 as a result of some Muslims praying at the site.
The British Foreign Office and other branches of the British government used to use the older spelling of "Jedda", contrary to other English-speaking usage, but in 2007 changed to the spelling "Jeddah".
On official Saudi maps and documents, the city name is transcribed "Jeddah", which is now the prevailing usage.
Excavations in the old city suggest that Jeddah was founded as a fishing hamlet in 500 B.C by the Yemeni Quada tribe (بني قضاعة), who left central Yemen to settle in Makkah after the destruction of the Marib Dam in Yemen.
Other archaeological studies have shown that the area was settled earlier by people in the Stone Age, as some Thamudi scripts were excavated in Wadi Briman (وادي بريمان), west of the city, and Wadi Boweb (وادي بويب), northwest of the city. It was visited by Alexander The Great (356 B.C. - 323 B.C.)
Since then, Jeddah has been established as the main city of the historic Hejaz province and a historic port for pilgrims arriving by sea to perform their Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. The city's strategic location as the gates of the Holy City and a port on the Red Sea has caused it to be conquered many times throughout its history.
In the 969 A.D. the Fatimids from Algeria took control in Egypt from the Ikhshidid dynasty and expanded their empire to the surrounding regions, including Hejaz and Jeddah. The Fatimids developed an extensive trade network in both the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean through the Red Sea. Their trade and diplomatic ties extended all the way to China and its Song Dynasty, which eventually determined the economic course of Hijaz during the High Middle Ages.
After Saladin's conquest of Jerusalem, in 1171 he proclaimed himself sultan of Egypt, after dissolving the Fatimid Caliphate upon the death of al-Adid, thus establishing the Ayyubid dynasty, which set conquests throughout the region. Hejaz—including Jeddah—became a part of the Ayyubid Empire in 1177 during the leadership of Sharif Ibn Abul-Hashim Al-Thalab (1094 - 1201). During their relatively short-lived tenure, the Ayyubids ushered in an era of economic prosperity in the lands they ruled and the facilities and patronage provided by the Ayyubids led to a resurgence in intellectual activity in the Islamic world. This period was also marked by an Ayyubid process of vigorously strengthening Sunni Muslim dominance in the region by constructing numerous madrasas (Islamic schools) in their major cities.
In 1254, following events in Cairo and the dissolution of the Ayyubid Empire, Hejaz became a part of the Mamluk Sultanate. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, having found his way around the Cape and obtained pilots from the coast of Zanzibar in 1497 CE, pushed his way across the Indian Ocean to the shores of Malabar and Calicut, attacked the fleets that carried freight and Muslim pilgrims from India to the Red Sea, and struck terror into the potentates all around. The Princes of Gujarat and Yemen turned for help to Egypt. Sultan Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri accordingly fitted out a fleet of 50 vessels under his Admiral, Hussein the Kurd. Jeddah was soon fortified with forced labor as a harbor of refuge from the Portuguese, and Arabia and the Red Sea were protected. But the fleets in the Indian Ocean were at the mercy of the enemy.
In 1517, the Ottoman Turks conquered the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt and Syria, during the reign of Selim I. As territories of the Mamluk Sultanate, the Hejaz, including the holy city of Mecca and Jeddah, passed into Ottoman possession. The Ottomans rebuilt the weak walls of Jeddah in 1525 following their victory over Lopo Soares de Albergaria's Armada in the Red Sea. The new Turkish wall included six watchtowers and six city gates. They were constructed to defend against the Portuguese attack. Of the six gates, the Gate of Mecca was the eastern gate and the Gate of Al-Magharibah, facing the port, the western one. The Gate of Sharif faced south. The other gates were the Gate of Al-Bunt, Gate of Al-Sham (also called Gate of Al-Sharaf) and Gate of Medina, facing north. The Turks also built The Qishla of Jeddah, a small castle for the city soldiers. In the 19th century these seven gates were minimized into four giant gates with four towers. These giant gates were the Gate of Sham from the north, the Gate of Mecca from the east, the Gate of Sharif from the south, and the Gate of Al-Magharibah on the sea side.
Ahmed Al-Jazzar, the Ottoman military man mainly known for his role in the Siege of Acre, spent the earlier part of his career at Jeddah—where in 1750 he killed some seventy rioting nomads in retaliation for the killing of his commander, Abdullah Beg. It was this act which reportedly earned him the nickname "Jezzar" (butcher), which he carried for the rest of his life.
In 1802, Nejdi forces conquered both Mecca and Jeddah from the Ottomans. When Sharif Ghalib Efendi informed Sultan Mahmud II of this, the Sultan ordered his Egyptian viceroy Muhammad Ali Pasha to retake the city. Muhammad Ali successfully regained the city in the Battle of Jeddah in 1813.
During World War I, Sharif Hussein bin Ali declared a revolt against the Ottoman Empire, seeking independence from the Ottoman Turks and the creation of a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.
King Hussein declared the Kingdom of Hejaz. Later, Hussein was involved in war with Ibn Saud, who was the Sultan of Nejd. Hussein resigned following the fall of Mecca, in December 1924, and his son Ali bin Hussein became the new king of the remaining soil of the Kingdom of Hejaz.
A few months later, Ibn Saud, whose clan originated in the central Nejd province, conquered Medina and Jeddah via an agreement with Jeddans following the Second Battle of Jeddah. He deposed the Sharif of Hejaz, Ali bin Hussein, who fled to Baghdad, eventually settling in Amman, Jordan, where his descendants became part of its Hashemite royalty.
As a result, Jeddah came under the sway of the Al-Saud dynasty in December 1925. In 1926, Ibn Saud added the title King of Hejaz to his position of Sultan of Nejd. Today, Jeddah has lost its historical role in peninsular politics, since the historic Hejaz province along the west coast has been subdivided into smaller provinces, and Jeddah falls within the new province of Makkah, whose provincial capital is the city of Mecca.
From 1928 to 1932, the new Khuzam Palace was built as the new residence of King Abdul Aziz in Jeddah. The palace lies south of the old walled city and was constructed under the supervision of the engineer Muhammad bin Laden. After 1963 the palace was used as a royal guest house; since 1995 it has housed the Regional Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography.
What was left of the walls and gates of the old city was taken down in 1947. A fire in 1982 destroyed some ancient buildings in the old town center, called Al-Balad, but much is still preserved despite the commercial interest to tear down old houses (Naseef House, Gabil House) and build modern high-rise buildings. A house-by-house survey of the old districts was made in 1979, showing that some 1000 traditional buildings still existed, though the number of structures with great historic value was far less. In 1990 a Jeddah Historical Area Preservation Department was founded.
The modern city has expanded wildly beyond its old boundaries. The built-up area expanded mainly to the north along the Red Sea coastline, reaching the new airport during the 1990s and since edging its way around it toward the Ob'hur Creek some 27 kilometers from the old city center.
Most of Saudi Arabia is desert. The central region consists of an eroded plateau, mostly arid and hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The western region is mountainous except on the coastal plain bordering the Red Sea, which includes the Jeddah area.
Jeddah borders the Red Sea from the west and the Al-Sarawat Mountains from the east. It has no rivers or valleys but it includes Sharm Ob'hur, which connects the Red Sea to the other end of the city. The Sharm of Salman (also called the Gulf of Salman) borders the city from north.
Jeddah features an arid climate under Koppen's climate classification. Unlike other Saudi Arabian cities, Jeddah retains its warm temperature in winter, which can range from 15 °C (59 °F) at midnight to 25 °C (77 °F) in the afternoon. Summer temperatures are very hot, often breaking the 40 °C (104 °F) mark in the afternoon and dropping to 30 °C (86 °F) in the evening. Rainfall in Jeddah is generally sparse, and usually occurs in small amounts in December. There have also been several notable incidents of hail. Heavy thunderstorms are common in winter. The thunderstorm of December 2008 was the largest in recent memory, with rain reaching around 3 inches (7.6 cm). The lowest temperature ever recorded in Jeddah was 3 °C (37 °F) in the winter of 1995.
|Jeddah Climatological Data|
|Record high °C (°F)||33 (91)||35 (95)||38 (100)||40 (104)||42 (108)||47 (117)||42 (108)||42 (108)||42 (108)||41 (106)||41 (106)||34 (93)|
|Average high °C (°F)||29 (84)||29 (84)||29 (84)||33 (91)||35 (95)||36 (97)||37 (99)||37 (99)||36 (97)||35 (95)||33 (91)||30 (86)||33 (91)|
|Average low °C (°F)||18 (64)||18 (64)||19 (66)||21 (70)||23 (73)||24 (75)||26 (79)||27 (81)||25 (77)||23 (73)||22 (72)||19 (66)||22 (72)|
|Record low °C (°F)||3 (37)||11 (52)||13 (55)||12 (54)||13 (55)||19 (66)||21 (70)||23 (73)||21 (70)||20 (68)||17 (63)||10 (50)|
|Rainfall mm (in)||5 (0.2)||6 (0.3)||1 (0.1)||1 (0.1)||5 (0.5)||0 (0)||0 (0)||0 (0)||0 (0)||0 (0)||25 (1.0)||31 (1.2)||67 (2.6)|
Air pollution is an issue for Jeddah, particularly on hot summer days. The city has experienced bush fires, landfill fires, and pollution from the two industrial zones in the north and the south of Jeddah.
The water treatment factory and the seaport contribute to water pollution. However, the coast of the city can be considered safe and of relatively clean quality.
The city's geographical location places it at the heart of the region covered by the Middle East and North Africa, with all their capitals within two hours flying distance, defining Jeddah as the second commercial center of the Middle East after Riyadh.
King Abdullah Street is an important place for companies' offices and commercial developments. The street hosts some of the most powerful conglomerates in Saudi Arabia, such as Emaar Middle East and Al-Farsi. Due to the economic boom in this region, there is a central business district planned, which would be one of the biggest CBDs in the eastern world.
Tahlia Street is an important fashion and shopping street in the mid-town of Jeddah. It contains many upscale department shops and boutiques, such as Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Chanel and Giorgio Armani.
The city serves as headquarters for several global and major organizations, including:
Popular Saudi and foreign opinion regards Jeddah as the most liberal and cosmopolitan of Saudi cities due to its historic role as port and gateway to the holy city of Mecca. For over one thousand years, Jeddah has received millions of pilgrims of different ethnicities and backgrounds, from Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East, some of whom remained and became residents of the city. As a result, Jeddah is much more ethnically diverse than most Saudi cities and its culture more eclectic in nature (in contrast with the more geographically isolated and religiously strict capital, Riyadh). Adding to the traditional diversity, the oil boom of the past 50 years has brought hundreds of thousands of working immigrants and foreign workers from non-Muslim countries, the majority originating from continents such as North America (United States of America), Europe (Western Europe), and Asia (South and South-East Asia). There are also many Christian Arabs from the Middle East, coming from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and the West Bank and Gaza..
The following is a list of districts in Jeddah (transliterated from Arabic):
1. Almorgan 2. Al-basateen 3. Almohamadiya 4. Al-Shati 5. Alnahda 6. Al-Naeem 7. Alnozha 8. Al-Zahraa 9. Al-salama 10. Al-bawadi 11. Alrabwa 12. Al-safa 13. Al-khaldiya 14. Alrawda 15. Alfaysaliya 16. Al-andalus 17. Al-aziziya 18. Alrihab 19. Al-hamraa 20. Mosharafa 21. Al-Roweis 22. Al-Sharafiya 23. Bani Malik 24. AL-Woroud 25. Al-NAseem 26. Al-Baghdadiya Al-sharqiya 27. Al-Amariya 28. Al-Hindawiya 29. Al-Saheifa 30. Al-Kandra 31. Al-Sulaimaniya 32. Al-Thaalba 33. Al-Sabeel 34. Al-Qurayat 35. Gholail 36. Al-Nozla Al-Yamaniya 37. Al-Nozla Al-Sharqiya 38. Al-Taghr 39. Al-Jamaa 40. Madayin Al-Fahad 41. Al-Rawabi 42. Al-Wazeeriya 43. Petromin 44. Al-Mahjar 45. Prince Abdel Majeed 46. Obhour Al-Janobiya 47. Al-MArwa 48. AL-Fayhaa 49. King Abdul Al-Aziz University 50. Al-Boghdadiya Al-Gharbiya 51. Al-balad 52. Al-Ajwad 53. Al-Manar 54. Al-Samer 55. Abruq Al-Roghama 56. Madinat Al-Sultan 57. Um hablain 58. Al-Hamdaniya 59. Alsalhiya 60. Mokhatat Al-Aziziya 61. Mokhatat Shamal Al-Matar 62. Mokhatat Al-Riyadh 63. Mokhatat Al-Huda 64. Braiman 65. Alsalam 66. Al-Mostawdaat 67. Al-Montazahat 68. Kilo 14 69. Al-Harazat 70. Um Al-Salam 71. Mokhtat Zahrat Al-Shamal 72. Al-Majid 73. Gowieza 74. Al-Gozain 75. Al-Kuwait 76. Al-Mahrogat 77. Al-Masfa 78. Al-Matar Al-Gadeem (old airport) 79. Al-Bokhariya 80. Al-Nour 81. Bab shareif 82. Baba Makkah 83. Bahra 84. Al-Amir Fawaz 85. Wadi Fatma 86. Obhour Shamaliya 87. Al-tarhil (deportation) 88. Al-Iskan Al-janoubi 89. Al-Tawfeeq 90. Al-Goaid 91. Al-Jawhara 92. Al-Jamoum 93. Al-Khumra 94. Al-Difaa Al-Jawi (Air Defense) 95. Al-Dageeg 96. Alrobou 97. Alrabie 98. Al-Rehaily 99. Al-Salmiya 100. Al-Sanabil 101. Alsinaiya (Bawadi) 102. Industrial City (Mahjar) 103. Al-Adl 104. Al-olayia 105. Al-Faihaa 106. Al-karanteena 107. Al-Ajaweed 108. Al-Ahmadiya 109. Al-Mosadiya 110. East Alkhat Alsarei 111. Kilo 10 112. King Faisal Navy Base 113. Kilo 7 114. Kilo 3 115. King Faisal Guard City 116. Kilo 11 117. Thowal 118. Kilo 13 119. Al-Makarona 120. Al-layth 121. Al-gonfoda 122. Rabegh 123. Kilo 8 124. Kilo 5 125. Kilo 2 126. Almokhwa 127. National Guard Residence 128. Al-showag 129. Air Defense Residence 130. Al-Morsalat 131. Al-Shoola 132. Al-Courniche 133. Al-waha 134. Mokhatat Al-Haramain 135. Kholais
The vast majority of Jeddans are Sunni Muslims, with a minority of Shia Muslims, and Asian, Western, and Arab Christians. There are also non-Muslim/non-Christian Asians. There are no non-Muslim citizens; while there are Muslims who are not citizens, all non-Muslims are resident expatriate workers. The city has over 1,300 mosques, and has no churches, synagogues, or other types of places of worship; non-Muslims are strictly prohibited from celebrating their religion openly in any way. However, some Filipino workers report the presence of churches inside some gated communities.
Since the 7th century, Jeddah has hosted millions of Muslim pilgrims from all over the world on their way to Hajj. This merge with pilgrims has a major impact on the society, religion, and economy of Jeddah.
There is a ban on alcohol and narcotics throughout the kingdom. Anyone found to be involved in usage or handling of alcohol or narcotics is severely punished under the "Saudi Rule Of Law" (which is derived mainly from Islamic Sharia).
All business activities and markets are closed five times a day, during prayer times.
The court and justice system of Saudi Arabia follow Islamic codes.
Jeddah residents are a mix of several different ethnicities and nationalities. This mixture of races has had a major impact on Jeddah's traditional cuisine.
As in other Saudi cities, the Nejdi dish Kabsa is popular among the people of Jeddah, often made with chicken instead of lamb meat. The Yemeni dish Mandi is also popular as a lunch meal. Hijazi cuisine is popular as well and dishes like Mabshoor, Mitabbak, Foul, Areika, Hareisa, Kabab Meiroo, Shorabah Hareira (Hareira soup), Migalgal, Madhbi (chicken grilled on stone), Madfun (literally meaning "buried"), Magloobah, Kibdah, Manzalah (usually eaten at Eid ul-Fitr), Ma'asoob, Magliya (a Hijazi version of falafel), Saleeig (a Hijazi dish made of milk rice), hummus, Biryani, Ruz Kabli, Ruz Bukhari, and Saiyadyia can be acquired in many traditional restaurants around the city, such as Althamrat, Abo-Zaid, Al-Quarmooshi, Ayaz, and Hejaziyat.
Grilled meat dishes such as shawarma, kofta and kebab have a good market in Jeddah. During Ramadan, sambousak and ful are the most popular meals during dusk. These meals are found in Lebanese, Syrian, and Turkish restaurants.
International food is popular in the city. American chains such as McDonald's, Burger King, Domino's Pizza and KFC are widely distributed in Jeddah, as are more upscale chains like Fuddruckers and Chili's. Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian foods are also popular. Italian, French, and other European restaurants are found throughout the city.
The local fast food chain Al Baik remains the pioneer though. It has served the population of Jeddah and the neighbouring cities of Makkah, Madinah and Yanbu for a couple of decades now and nobody in the market has been able to compete with it. Their main cuisine is fried chicken, commonly known by Jeddans as Brost, and a variety of seafood.
Other local fast food restaurants have sprung up, like Al Tazaj, which serves seasoned grilled chicken (called Farooj) and a side of Tahina with onion and spices. Foulameez serves Foul and Tameez as fast food; Kodo and Hearfey serve Western fast food; Halawani serves local variants of Shawerma; and Shawermatak has pioneered drive-through sales of Shawerma.
During the oil boom in the late 1970s and 1980s, there was a focused civic effort to bring art to Jeddah's public areas. As a result, Jeddah contains a large number of modern open-air sculptures and works of art, typically situated in roundabouts, making the city one of the largest open-air art galleries in the world. Sculptures include works by a variety of artists, ranging from the obscure to international stars such as Jean/Hans Arp, César Baldaccini, Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Joan Miró and Victor Vasarely. They often depict elements of traditional Saudi culture: coffee pots, incense burners, palm trees, etc. The fact that Islamic tradition prohibits the depiction of living creatures, notably the human form, has made for some very creative modern art, ranging from the tasteful to the bizarre and downright hideous. These include a mounted defunct propeller plane, a giant geometry set, a giant bicycle, and a huge block of concrete with several cars protruding from it at odd angles.
There may be about a dozen museums or collections in Jeddah, with a wide variety of educational aim and professionalism. Some of these are the Jeddah Regional Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography run by the Deputy Ministry of Antiquities and Museums, the Jeddah Municipal Museum, the Naseef House, the private Abdul Rauf Hasan Khalil Museum and the private Arts Heritage Museum.
Jeddah is served by four major Arabic-language newspapers, Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Madina, Okaz, and Al-Bilad, as well as two major English-language newspapers, the Saudi Gazette and Arab News. Okaz and Al-Madina are the primary newspapers of Jeddah and some other Saudi cities, with over a million readers; they focus mainly on issues that affect the city.
Destination Jeddah is a monthly magazine directed at locals, new residents, incoming visitors, religious tourists, and the developing tourism business sector. The magazine serves as a guide to the city's sights and attractions, restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
Jeddah represents the largest radio and television market in Saudi Arabia. Television stations serving the city area include Saudi TV1, Saudi TV2, Saudi TV Sports, Al Ekhbariya, the ART channels network and hundreds of cable, satellite and other specialty television providers.
The Jeddah TV Tower is a 250 m (820 ft) high television tower with an observation deck. The tower started construction in 2006 and was finished in 2007; it is a part of the Ministry of Information in Jeddah.
Jeddah hosts the oldest sport clubs in Saudi Arabia. Al-Ittihad was the first club in the country, established in 1927.
Football is the most popular sport in Jeddah. Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli are well-known football clubs. They are major competitors in both the Saudi Premier League and the AFC Champions League. Al-Ittihad won the FIBA Asia Champions Cup.
There are several public football stadiums in Jeddah:
The Jeddah City area has a distinctive regional speech pattern called the Hejazi dialect, alternatively known as Meccan or Makkawi. It is often considered to be one of the most recognizable accents within the Arabic language.
Pronunciations in Hejazi differ from other Gulf dialects in some respects. The Classical Arabic qaaf (ق) is pronounced as /g/ sound, as in "get". Hijazi Arabic is also conservative with respect to the sound of the pronunciation of the letter ğim (ج), which is very close to the two sounds considered, by specialists, to be the best candidates for the way it was pronounced in Classical Arabic—namely, the voiced palatal plosive /ɟ/ and the palatalized velar stop /gʲ/. This stands in contrast with many dialects in the region, which use /g/ or /ʒ/ for ğim instead. Some speakers replace the interdental /θ/ with /t/ or /s/.
Life in Jeddah is different from many cities in Saudi Arabia. Jeddah is a cosmopolitan city, more so than any other city in the country; it has many people coming from all over the world, who share their cultures. It also has many historical buildings with traditional designs, and it has numerous buildings near the beach. The city has very nice beaches and a corniche where people like to spend time and relax. Jeddah has the highest fountain in the world, named King Fahd's Fountain. During the annual Jeddah Festival, many games and activities are held in the city. There are shopping sprees, water skiing competitions, art exhibitions, and music festivals. Jeddah markets are known for their reasonable prices. One of the most famous shopping districts in Jeddah is Tahlia Street.
The Old City with its traditional multistory buildings and merchant houses has lost ground to more modern developments. Nonetheless, the Old City continues to shape the identity of the Saudi culture, preserving such areas as the Gabil Market (Gabil Street), Naseef House, and other traditional landmarks.
The Old City is an attraction to non-Saudis who visit Jeddah on business (Saudi issues visit visas for business and religious purposes only). On Eid holidays, locals visit the area for traditional-style carnivals aimed at families and children.
The city has many popular resorts, including Durrat Al-Arus, Al-Nawras Movenpick resort at the Red Sea Corniche, Crystal Resort, Al Nakheel Village, Sands, and Sheraton Abhur. Many are renowned for their preserved Red Sea marine life and offshore coral reefs.
The increasing occupancy rates of hotels every year depends on the number of tourists and hajj pilgrims. In the last few years, Jeddah received more than 2.5 millions pilgrims per year.
One of three consulates of the United States of America in Saudi Arabia is located in Jeddah, along with consulates for 67 other countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, Turkey, India, Italy, Russia and People's Republic of China, as well as countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab League states.
King Fahd's Fountain
Jeddah's King Fahd's Fountain is a major landmark built in the 1980s and listed by the Guinness World Records organization as the highest water jet in the world at 312 metres (1,024 feet). It can be seen from a great distance. The fountain was donated to the City of Jeddah by the late King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, after whom it was named.
Built in 1983 and believed to be the highest tower in Saudi Arabia during the 1980s, with a height of over 235 m (771 ft), the National Commercial Bank was Saudi Arabia's first bank.
The Islamic Development Bank is a multilateral development financing institution. It was founded by the first conference of Finance Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), convened 18 December 1973. The bank officially began its activities on 20 October 1975.
Jeddah Municipality Tower
This is the headquarters of the metropolitan area of Jeddah. The new building of the Municipality is one of Jeddah's highest towers.
As of 2005, Jeddah had 849 public and private schools for male students and another 1,179 public and private schools for female students. The medium of instruction in both public and private schools is typically Arabic, with emphasis on English as a second language. However, some private schools administered by foreign entities use the English language as the medium of instruction.
For higher education, the city has several universities and colleges, including the following:
Jeddah is served by King Abdulaziz International Airport. The airport has four passenger terminals. One is the Hajj Terminal, a special outdoor terminal covered by enormous tents, which was constructed to handle the more than two million pilgrims who pass through the airport during the Hajj season. The Southern Terminal is used for Saudi Airlines flights, while the Northern Terminal serves foreign and other national airlines. The Royal Terminal is a special terminal reserved for VIPs, foreign kings and presidents, and the Saudi Royal Family. A portion of the airport was used by Coalition B-52 heavy bombers during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
Jeddah does not have any rapid transit system, but a rail system connecting the city to Riyadh is now under construction. The Haramain High Speed Rail Project will provide a high-speed rail connection to Mecca and Medina.
Modern streets connect the different areas of the city to each other. Jeddah's main highways run parallel to each other.
Today, the city faces many challenges and issues, such as weak sewage systems, heavy traffic, epidemics, fighting, and pollution issues.
In November 2009 heavy floods affected the city and other areas of Makkah Province. The floods were described by civil defence officials as the worst in 27 years. As of 29 November 2009 , some 106 people were reported to have been killed, and more than 350 were missing. Some roads were under a metre (three feet) of water on 26 November, and many of the victims were believed to have drowned in their cars. At least 3,000 vehicles were swept away or damaged. The death toll was expected to rise as flood waters receded, allowing rescuers to reach stranded vehicles.
Jeddah has 24 sister cities (aka "twin towns") which are selected based on economic, cultural and political criteria.
Jeddah (جدّة, also spelled Jiddah) is on the Red Sea in western Saudi Arabia. It is the second largest city, with a population of approximately 3,400,000, and the major commercial center of the country.
Jeddah has been a port and trading city for centuries, which is reflected in its cosmopolitan mix of inhabitants. Today, it is the major commercial center of Saudi Arabia. It also has many government offices. Jeddah is known in the kingdom for its shopping districts, restaurants and cafes. It also hosts the Jeddah Corniche (waterfront area), which is the largest in the Kingdom with a great bunch of hotels, beaches and resorts clustered around it.
Jeddah is a huge city that sprawls along the coast of the Red Sea, connected together by the Corniche, a seaside avenue full of bizarre sculptures and nearly 30 km long. The old city or al-Balad, on the southern side of modern Jeddah, is a crumbling but fascinating warren of multi-story houses made from coral. The main thoroughfare Medina Road starts from the northern side of al-Balad and runs all the way to the city.
Jeddah is served by King Abdulaziz International Airport (IATA: JED) is the largest airport in the Kingdom and is well served by airlines around the world. Unfortunately, despite its importance and the Kingdom's wealth, the airport is in miserable shape with dust, flies and poor to nonexistent signage, although as of 2008 it is undergoing a much-needed renovation.
There are two regular terminals, with the South Terminal, used by domestic Saudi airlines and all Saudi Airways flights, and the North Terminal, used by all other international flights. Located on opposite sites of the massive apron, the two are nearly 8 km apart and the only way to connect is by taxi. A taxi to the city from either will cost around SR50, so agree on the fare before you set off.
There are also two special terminals, used exclusively for Hajj pilgrims heading directly to Mecca, which are basically enormous tents of fiberglass fabric on reinforced concrete poles and steel cables. Driving to the normal non-Hajj terminal, you pass between the two. In season, this lets you admire rows of 747s parked alongside the Hajj terminals.
Many of the hotels chains have a "water taxi" or a small minivan that will take you to the mall and main shopping areas. Taxis are very inexpensive, with most 10 minute rides costing about SR10-20 (about $2-4). There are two types of taxis: one is yellow and will have a sign that says, simply, TAXI. They are usually cheaper, but a little "rougher" on the inside and out and and usually are not air conditioned. If you're looking for better quality, opt for the white "Limousine" taxis which are of better quality. Limousine taxis are about $1-3 more expensive.
Many rental agencies like Avis or Budget will rent you a 2008 mid-size car for the price of SR100-140 (about $30-50) per day. You'll also find a bargain when it comes to fuel, as Saudi Arabia has some of the cheapest petrol prices in the world. The streets are wide and signs are written in both Arabic and English. Look for maps in the libraries or big supermarkets.
Buses are not a commonly-used means of transportation in Jeddah even though you can ride one for SR1-2 from certain main streets to Albalad (downtown). It is, however, a very interesting way to enjoy traditional Arab music and the sound of people mixing together all while enjoying sights during the ride. Smaller buses are mostly private so the owner is responsible for cleanliness. Larger buses are provided by the government, which are big and clean but don't follow a schedule, so consider using the smaller buses if you're on a specific timetable.
Boats are not particularly a means of transportation, but rather a way to to enjoy the views of the Red Sea. You can catch boats in Obhur north of Jeddah at the marina; a one hour ride in a small boat is around SR200 (US$55).
Jeddah's top sight is al-Balad, or the old town. The city wall has long since been torn down, but the old gates still mark where it once stood. Within you'll find a warren of ancient buildings and traditional souqs (markets), and the teetering, multistory coral houses that Jeddah is famous for. Unfortunately, coral is not a very durable building material, and most of the buildings are in disrepair.
The Jeddah Corniche offers spectacular views of the Red Sea. Check out the main shopping street on Tahliya for interesting wares, and if you're looking for good quality gold, try the Gold Souq where you can bargain for 18k and 24k gold by weight. The King Fahd Fountain is not only the biggest fountain in Jeddah, but also the world!
Scuba diving is a major draw for expats in the Kingdom, although the Saudis themselves seem oblivious to the treasures that await offshore. Because of Jeddah's location on the Red Sea, the flora and fauna are quite similar to what you'd see on Egypt's Red Sea Coast or off the Sinai Peninsula, only minus all the tourists. Visibility can be spectacular (30-40m is common) and the corals are virtually untouched. There are plenty of interesting sites to explore like the Chicken Wreck, a boat carrying tons of frozen chicken that hit the reef and sunk at a depth of 10-18m. Most of the better dive sites are around one hour out to sea by speed boat.
The Red Sea gets chilly in the winter, with water temperatures dropping to 22°C, so you'll want to use a 5mm wetsuit with hood. In summer, temperatures climb up to a much more balmy 29°C, and 3mm shorty or 1mm diveskin is plenty.
There are many places to find work in Jeddah and jobs are plentiful.
There are a number of shopping malls in Jeddah to shop.
Jeddah is full of restaurants with almost every cuisine imaginable and eating out is part of the city's culture. All the restaurants have separate sections for single men and for families. Dating is forbidden, but most restaurants will allow a couple into the family section without question. All businesses close for prayer for about half an hour at noon and at sunset. They close again an hour after sunset for about 45 minutes. If you like to eat early, you can often stay in a restaurant during prayer time. Saudis tend to eat late, well after the evening prayer.
The standard cheap meal is the shawarma - giant layers of beef or chicken turning on a vertical spit. Thin slices are cut off and served with vegetables, garlic and sauce in pita bread. You can also find a few falafel shops or eat at boofias (cornershops).And more thing is very cheap that is Homus which the paste of white chic peas and caster oil and is very tasty. Try the Filipino Souk near Saudia City. Ask for the Pakistani area Kababish. There's a group of shops and restaurants with very low prices. Most of the American fast food franchises can be found in Jeddah. Such as:
and other fast food restaurants such as:
Like all Saudi Arabian cities, you aren't going to find much nightlife revolving around alcohol in Jeddah. What you should be able to find are shisha cafes and a large variety of coffeeshops such as, Java Lounge, Vertigo, Starbucks, Mugs & Beans, Costa Coffee and Second Cup. Non-alcoholic beer is available in restaurants along with non-alcoholic cocktails and other drinks.
While alcohol is banned in Saudi Arabia, you'll probably be able to find plenty of drinking among Western ex-pats at private parties in Jeddah.
Outside Hajj season, hotels in Jeddah are generally cheaper than those in Riyadh. The usual international chains are well represented.
While not as strict as Riyadh, Jeddah still falls under Islamic law. Read, understand and follow the guidelines in the Saudi Arabia article to stay out of trouble.
Local women normally wear a hijab (headscarf) and abaya (long black overgarment) to cover her head and entire body. Abayas, however, are not required for non-Muslim or Western-looking women. Only the hijab is required for all women. Men should avoid wearing shorts.
While you may be able to find alcohol at private parties, it is still forbidden in Saudi Arabia. Corporal punishment for Westerners is rare, but it has happened on occasion.
Most shopping malls have Internet cafes.
[Khobar ] - Second most beautiful city in the Middle East.
Riyadh - The capital of Saudi Arabia
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