Information Portal about Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Jeddah is a one of Saudi Arabia’s largest urban cities and is located in the western Tihamah region of Saudi Arabia on the red sea coast. It has a population of 4.3 million (as of 2012) as is considered the commercial capital of the Kingdom.
The literal translation of the city’s name is fortune, well-being and happiness. The majority of foreigners living in Saudi Arabia pronounce the city’s name as Jeddah, which is the Arabic word for Grandmother and is believed to be a reference to the traditional location of Eve’s tomb within the city. The correct pronunciation is actually Jiddah, meaning seashore
The origin of Jeddah dates back to around 3000 years when groups of fishermen used to settle in it after their fishing trips. 500 years later the tribe of 'Quda'ah' arrived and settled in it. The historical transformation of Jeddah was in the generation Othman Bin Affan, the third Muslim Caliph in 647 AD, when turned the city into a port to embrace pilgrims (Hajjis) coming by sea for the Holy Pilgrimage in Mecca. Today Jeddah a gateway city to Mecca and Medina, and a very common landing destination for religious pilgrimage.
Many changes in the last two decades have contributed this metropolis becoming a major business hub in the Kingdom and also a vital seaport for all import/export of non-oil products.
- GPS Coordinates: 21°32′36″N 39°10′22″E
- Establishment: 6th Bentury BC
- Date of Joining Saudi Arabia: 1925
- Urban Area: 1,686 sq km
- Metropolitan: 3,000 sq km
- Elevation from Sea Level: 12 meters
- Population (as of 2012): 5,318,636
- Urban Population Density: 2,921/km2
- Time Zone: EAT (UTC +3)
- Postal Code: 5 Digits
- Area Code: +966-2
The government in Saudi Arabia is focused about Jeddah's development into a leader in Science and Engineering for the region. The city has increasingly been ranked as a top player in innovation in the Middle East.
A definite face about Jeddah is that it has many Gems to exhibit to its visitors. The corniche houses the world highest fountain at 312 meters, the King Fahd’s fountain. You will also find numerous educational and historical sites, and it is known for having many grand museums such as the Municipality Museum. The Jeddah Museum is the regional landmark that demonstrates historical archaeology and ethnography.
Jeddah is known for the best souks in the country. Stretched across the old city, you will find Souk Al-Alawi, which is divided into paved sections and sections with offbeat green and white columns. Among many examples of tradition, history and old architecture, Jeddah's has preserved 3 old city gates by reconstructing them.
Something about Jeddah has definitely made it hold its place from a landmark that has survived the sands of time and progressed to becoming a modern city and has well earned its name as the pearl of the red sea.
In Jeddah, there is a wide variety of restaurants for you to have a good bite, whether with your friends or family. From theses restaurants, we selected and highlighted some of them for you to get to know during your stay or visit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We will be adding more, so be sure to check us for new favorite restaurants in the city of Jeddah.
In Jeddah, there are numerous malls in which people of all ages can visit for shopping, dinning or just for a change, especially during the hot summer days of Jeddah. From these malls, we selected and highlighted some of them for you to get to know during your stay or visit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The Corniche of Jeddah is a 30 km coastal resort area of the city. It is located beside the Red Sea as well as King Fahd’s Fountain, the highest fountain in the world. With its many features, some include a coastal road, recreation areas, pavilions and large-scale civic sculptures. Moreover the Al-Rahmah Mosque (previously known as the Fatimah Mosque) is also located close to the corniche, which is a very popular attraction to tourists.
The Corniche is currently undergoing renovation; but, it will be renewed, expanded, and upgraded with restaurants, play areas, and entertainment by early 2014. The renovations will include a ferris wheel similar to the London Eye. It is divided into southern, central, and northern corniche which stretches almost 110 km, with plenty of hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, picnic areas, a science museum, and mosques.
Popular Saudi opinion regards Jeddah as the most abundant and multicultural of Saudi cities. For over a thousand years, Jeddah has received millions of travellers of different societies and backgrounds, from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, many of whom stayed in Jeddah and became citizens of the city. As a result, Jeddah is much more ethnologically diverse than most Saudi cities and its culture is the most extensive in nature. In addition to the traditional diversity, the oil boom from the past 50 years has brought hundreds of thousands of immigrants and foreign workers from non-Muslim countries and the majority coming from continents such as North America (Unites States of America), Europe (Western Europe), and Asia (South and South-East Asia).
The history of Jeddah takes us back more than 2,500 years, the Red Sea port began as a small fishing settlement and became a trading centre between this region, modern day Yemen and Europe. It wasn’t until 647 AD that it began to be used as a gateway for Muslim pilgrims making the required hajj to Mecca, which immensely increased the town's significance.
By 1000 AD Jeddah was equipped with limestone coral walls to protect residents, while this kind of protection was added in the 16th century to defend against the Portuguese.
Jeddah came under the rule of the Sa'ud dynasty in 1924, when King Ibn Sa'ud took over Mecca, Medina and Jeddah. As the political boundaries of provinces in Saudi Arabia have changed, Jeddah now falls within the Makkah province.
King Fahd’s Fountain, also known as Jeddah’s Fountain, the tallest water fountain in the world; fashioned after the fountain in Lake Geneva. It dominates the skyline of Jeddah, the capital of Saudi Arabia and the wealthiest city in the Middle East and western Asia, located on the coast of the Red Sea. The fountain was built in the 1980's and is listed in Guinness World Records as the highest water fountain in the world, with a maximum reach of 312m. This water fountain was built in the 1980s and donated to the City of Jeddah by the late King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz.
Jeddah is one of those cities in Kingdom that attract the highest amount of tourist traffic. Being the second largest city in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah beautifully incorporates all those elements that promise vacationers and tourists an unforgettable experience. One of the sites in the city that deserves a slot on your list of worth-visiting sites is Al-Balad.Read more...
Al Anaam Zoo (Beautiful Creatures Zoo)
Plans for building build a new zoo in east Jeddah will soon be in process by early 2014 as of the dismantling of the Beautiful Creatures Zoo because of the many people complaining about the bad smell and dengue-carrying mosquitos from the zoo. The Beautiful Creatures Zoo is located at Tahliyah Street just beside the bridge on the Jeddah-Makkah highway. As soon as the municipality identifies possible partners, including foreign companies, they will start building the new zoo. Several studies are being carried out to determine what will be needed for the new facility as well as the Jeddah Urban Development and Investment Company that is planning to develop an exclusive area for recreational activities for Jeddah residents where the zoo will be set up in a spacious place. The proposed development will include a golf course and forest.
The Beautiful Creatures zoo was established during the year 1985 by Saudi businessman Wasmi Al-Wasmi and was soon closed for about one year. There was around 100 animals that were in the zoo at that time, to which they have been sold to facilities across the country.
Jeddah's other zoo was owned by the municipality and has been closed for almost a decade now. It hosted more than 500 animals including 15 tigers, and dozens of lions and birds; but, some of the tigers and lions have been transferred to zoos in other cities including Riyadh and Taif. The rest of the animals are still held at the location and are being cared for by a company specialized in dealing with wildlife in captivity.
The Beautiful Creatures Zoo was established in Jeddah on 16,000 square meters of land. Al-Wasmi owned some of the land and leased the other part from Jeddah Municipality. This zoo was very popular; families would always enjoy their time there and it was filled with people and tourists. It also had a variety of animals including tigers, lions, elephants, chimpanzees and different species of birds. With the rapid development of Jeddah, the zoo found itself in a residential area. There were also plans to build a highway and bridge in the area. In addition to the many animal lovers in Jeddah, the zoo has been a focal point for the people who complained a lot about the condition of the zoo because of the cramped space and the poor condition of the animals as well as its bad smell, noise and traffic.
An investigation was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture, Civil Defense and Jeddah Municipality into the grievances of residents and the status of the animals. It was then decided not to renew the lease on the land owned by the municipality. Al-Wasmi tried to move the zoo to another area, but his plan failed to work. But, there are also some private zoos in Saudi Arabia, including Dammam, Hafar Al-Bateen, Arar, Al-Kharj, Riyadh and Taif. The recently opened Othaim Shopping Mall in Dammam has Bengal tigers in its animal section. Some pet stores also keep wild animals and are open to visitors and tourists.