- Location:Western coast of Saudi Arabia
- Attraction Type: City
- Significance: The major commercial center of Saudi Arabia
- Best Time To Visit: November to April is the best time to visit Jeddah.
- How To Reach: Jeddah is well connected with most of the international countries
- Nearest Airport: King Abdul Aziz International Airport
Jeddah, the wealthiest city in the Middle East, is a cosmopolitan mix of inhabitants that is the result of over thousand years of pilgrims coming from all over the Islamic world to Jeddah to reach the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The city of Jeddah has a dry desert climate that is milder and less extreme than in the inland areas of Saudi Arabia. The summers between May and September are hot and dry, but with high humidity of the air.
Due to thousand years of trading and home to some of the world’s most successful merchants and business people, Jeddah has become the commercial capital of Saudi Arabia. The city is the principal gateway to Mecca, the holiest city of Muslims.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is culturally very rich. It is a city built of coral stone. Its trade boom started in 1869 with the opening of the Suez Canal. By the end of the century, commercial ties had been established with ports in the Arab world, Africa, India, and European ports. During this time prosperous merchants constructed their big family houses using blocks of coral stone from the quarries north of the city walls. The intricately carved wooden doors and window screens are the most charming features of these houses. The finest of these houses can still be seen in the old town center, which remains at the heart of modern Jeddah. Popular among the old merchant family house is the Beit Noorwali due to its beautiful top floor bathroom, exquisitely painted and lit by glass roundels set in its high pointed domed roof.
What to See in Jeddah
Jeddah is a city offering plenty of sightseeing and activities. The old city, known as Al-Balad, located in the southern side of the modern city center has many traditional multi-story houses built from coral stone. Many of the old buildings, such as the Naseef House, have been preserved and act as museums. The old city also has a lively bazaar, Souq al-Alawi. Taxis are easily available, and car rental in Jeddah is a good option to tour the city. Qasr Al Sharq (Palace of the Orient): This is the only palace hotel in the world with 7-star facility. It is an Arabian palace of unparalleled luxury and comfort representative of the opulence and hospitality associated with historical Arabia.
Corniche (the red sea shore): It is a popular destination where locals enjoy their picnics after sundown. As a tourist you must visit The Corniche.
King Fahad Fountain: It is one of the tallest fountain’s in the world. After the fountain is lit, it can be visible for miles.
While in Jeddah you can do some shopping in The Cornich Commercial Center, The International Market Bugshan Center, Al-Hamadah Shopping Center, Hijaz Plaza and many more.
For trips outside Jeddah you can rent a four wheel drive. The best destination is Taif, a town located on the mountains behind the city, which is a popular summer resort due to its cooler climate. It takes about a two hour drive. Another local excursion is to Moon Mountain which is 45 minutes drive from Jeddah.
Accommodation in Jeddah
Jeddah has many hotels at every price level. Some of the best hotels in Jeddah are internationally renowned.
Jeddah Crowne Plaza
Radisson SAS Jeddah
Le Meridien Jeddah
Mercure Al Bustan and Sofitel Al Hamra Jeddah
Few more leading Jeddah hotels are the Red Sea Palace and Al Harithy Hotel. There are also many residential apartment hotels, especially popular with long-stay visitors.
The popular restaurants in Jeddah are:
Al Bassateen Restaurant
Sanabel-Sofitel Jeddah Alhamra
Villa D’Aosta – Sofitel Jeddah Alhamra
Al Yasmin Restaurant-Al Fau
Sun Rise Restaurant
Harry Ramsden’s Restaurant