City of Jeddah
— City —
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): The Bride of the Red Sea Coordinates: Coordinates: Country Saudi Arabia Province Makkah (Mecca) Established From the 6th century BC Joint Saudi Arabia 1925 Government - City Mayor Hani Abu Ras - City Governor Mish'al Al-Saud - Provincial Governor Khalid al Faisal Area - Urban 1,500 km2 (579.2 sq mi) - Metro 3,000 km2 (1,158.3 sq mi) Elevation 12 m (39 ft) Population (2008) - City 3,234,000 - Density 2,921/km2 (1,826/sq mi) - Urban 3,855,912 - Metro 4,500,000 Jeddah City estimate Time zone EAT (UTC+3) - Summer (DST) EAT (UTC+3) Postal Code (5 digits) Area code(s) +966-2 Website Jeddah Municipality
Jeddah, Jiddah, Jidda, or Jedda (Arabic: جدّة, Jidda; Turkish: Cidde) is a 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 3.2 million. It is an important commercial hub in Saudi Arabia.
Jeddah is the principal gateway to Mecca, Islam's holiest city, which able-bodied Muslims are required to visit at least once in their lifetime. It is also a gateway to Medina, the second holiest place in Islam.
Jeddah is one of the most cosmopolitan, diverse, and tolerant of all Saudi Arabian cities, hosting expatriates from all over the world who have made Jeddah their home. Economically, Jeddah is focusing on further developing capital investment in scientific and engineering leadership within Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East. Jeddah was independently ranked 4th in the Africa / Mid-East region in terms of innovation in 2009 in the Innovation Cities Index.
Regionally, Jeddah is a primary resort city of the country. Jeddah was named a second-tier beta world city, according to Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC).
Historically (and up until today), Jeddah has been well known for its legendary money changers. The largest of said money changers at the time (the late Sheikh Salem Bin Mahfouz) eventually founded Saudi Arabia's first bank, the National Commercial Bank (NCB). Other notable trading families that have greatly impacted Saudi Arabia include the Ba-eshen, Bajubair, Bajammal, Bakhashab, Bakhashwain, Ali-Reda, Bin Zagr, Bin Mahfouz, Bin Laden, and Kamel families, respectively.
- 1 Etymology and spelling
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Economy
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Districts
- 7 Culture
- 8 Cityscape
- 9 Education
- 10 Transport
- 11 Issues and challenges
- 12 Sister cities
- 13 See also
- 14 Notes
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Etymology and spelling
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 جده 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 BC by the Yemeni Quda'a 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 BC - 323 BC).
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 AD 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. Jeddah attracted Muslim sailors and merchants from Sindh, Southeast Asia and East Africa, and other distant regions.
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, allowing Arabia and the Red Sea to be protected, parts of the city wall still survives today in the old city. Even though the Portuguese were successfully repelled from the city, the fleets in the Indian Ocean were at the mercy of the enemy. This was part of the Battle of Diu between the Portuguese and the Arab Mumluks. The Portuguese soldier's grave is still found within the old city today, and it is referred to as the Christian Graves.
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.
First Saudi State and Ottoman-Saudi War
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.
World War I and The Kingdom of Hejaz
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 today.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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.
Climate data for Jeddah Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 33
Average high °C (°F) 29
33 Average low °C (°F) 19
22 Record low °C (°F) 9
Rainfall mm (inches) 5
% humidity 56 52 52 54 53 56 53 55 63 61 57 55 55 Source: 
Pollution and environment
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.
Historically, and due to its proximity to the Red Sea, Jeddah functioned as a port city. Even before being designated port city for Mecca, the city of Jeddah had rooted itself in the local economy as an integral trading hub for the region. In the 19th century goods such as mother-of-pearl, tortoise shells, frankincense and various other spices and items were routinely exported from the city. Apart from this, many imports into the city were destined for further export to the Suez, Africa, or the European continent. As a result of this "re-export" of goods, many items exported from Jeddah were things that could not even be found in the city or even in Arabia.
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 Dubai.
King Abdullah Street
King Abdullah Street is one of the most important streets in Jeddah that starts at King Fahd road by the waterfront in the west of Jeddah and ends all the way at the eastern end of the city. It is famous for hosting numerous corporate offices and commercial developments. 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 Middle East.
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 Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Burberry, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Massimo Dutti, Tod's, and many more. It has been renamed to " Prince Mohammad bin Abdul Aziz Road".
Major organizations headquartered in Jeddah
The city serves as headquarters for several global and major organizations, including:
- Saudi Geological Survey
- Saudi Arabian Airlines
- Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
- Islamic Development Bank
- Jeddah Economic Forum
- Saudi Arabia's Human Rights Organization
- Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- Jeddah Marketing Board
- International Association of Islamic Banks
- International Islamic News Agency
- Islamic Shipowners Association
- Islamic States Broadcasting Organization
- The National Commercial Bank 
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, Russia, 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). In comparison with other cities of Saudi Arabia, women have greater freedom of movement here, and religious police are less active here. The oil boom of the past 50 years has brought hundreds of thousands of working immigrants and foreign workers from non-Muslim countries, including a significant number from South Asia, adding to the city's ethnic diversity.
There are in total 135 districts comprising metropolitan Jeddah which, transliterated from Arabic, are listed below in alphabetical order:
- 1. Al-Murjan
- 2. Al-Basateen
- 3. Al-Mohamadiya
- 4. Ash-Shati
- 5. An-Nahda
- 6. An-Naeem
- 7. An-Nozha
- 8. Az-Zahraa
- 9. As-Salamah
- 10. Al-Bawadi
- 11. Ar-Rabwa
- 12. As-Safa
- 13. Al-Khalidiya
- 14. Ar-Rawdha
- 15. Al-Faysaliya
- 16. Al-Andalus
- 17. Al-Aziziya
- 18. Ar-Rihab
- 19. Al-Hamraa
- 20. Al-Mosharafa
- 21. Ar-Roweis
- 22. Ash-Sharafiya
- 23. Bani Malik
- 24. Al-Woroud
- 25. An-Naseem
- 26. Al-Baghdadiya Ash-Sharqiya
- 27. Al-Amariya
- 28. Al-Hindawiya
- 29. As-Saheifa
- 30. Al-Kandra
- 31. As-Sulaimaniya
- 32. Al-Thaalba
- 33. As-Sabeel
- 34. Al-Qurayat
- 35. Gholail
- 36. An-Nozla Al-Yamaniya
- 37. Al-Nozla Ash-Sharqiya
- 38. Al-Taghr
- 39. Al-Jamaa
- 40. Madayin Al-Fahad
- 41. Ar-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-Baghdadiya Al-Gharbiya
- 51. Al-Balad
- 52. Al-Ajwad
- 53. Al-Manar
- 54. As-Samer
- 55. Abruq Ar-Roghama
- 56. Madinat As-Sultan
- 57. Um Hablain
- 58. Al-Hamdaniya
- 59. Al-Salhiya
- 60. Mokhatat Al-Aziziya
- 61. Mokhatat Shamal Al-Matar
- 62. Mokhatat Ar-Riyadh
- 63. Mokhatat Al-Huda
- 64. Braiman
- 65. Al-Salam
- 66. Al-Mostawdaat
- 67. Al-Montazahat
- 68. Kilo 14
- 69. Al-Harazat
- 70. Um As-Salam
- 71. Mokhtat Zahrat Ash-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. An-Nour
- 81. Bab Shareif
- 82. Bab Makkah
- 83. Bahra
- 84. Al-Amir Fawaz
- 85. Wadi Fatma
- 86. Obhour Shamaliya
- 87. At-Tarhil (deportation)
- 88. Al-Iskan Al-janoubi
- 89. At-Tawfeeq
- 90. Al-Goaid
- 91. Al-Jawhara
- 92. Al-Jamoum
- 93. Al-Khumra
- 94. Ad-Difaa Al-Jawi (Air Defense)
- 95. Ad-Dageeg
- 96. Ar-Robou
- 97. Ar-Rabie
- 98. Ar-Rehaily
- 99. As-Salmiya
- 100. As-Sanabil
- 101. As-Sinaiya (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 Al-Khat As-Sarei
- 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. Al-Mokhwa
- 127. National Guard Residence
- 128. As-Showag
- 129. Air Defense Residence
- 130. Al-Morsalat
- 131. Ash-Shoola
- 132. Al-Corniche
- 133. Al-Waha
- 134. Mokhatat Al-Haramain
- 135. Kholais
All citizens are Muslim, with most Saudi citizens are Sunni Muslims. The Government, Courts, Civil and Criminal law enforce a moral code established by Shari'ah. A minority of Saudi citizens are Shia Muslims, and there is also a large foreign workforce who must follow their non-Islamic religion in a private manner.
The city has over 1,300 mosques, and the law does not allow for other religions to erect faith based buildings or to express their faith publicly. Religious books, icons and other materials not of the Islam faith are also banned. However, private religious observance, which does not involve Muslims or offend public order or morality are sometimes tolerated.
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. It also brings an annual risk of illness, known by locals as the 'hajji disease', a general term for various viral maladies.
In keeping with traditional Sharia) law, any involvement with alcohol, pork products or any illegal drugs, especially narcotics, is punished severely. Dating and public displays of affection are culturally taboo and all sexual activity outside of a lawful marriage, such as adultery, fornication, cross-dressing and homosexuality, are prohibited. Men and women must wear appropriate clothing that is not too risqué or revealing.
All business activities and markets are closed five times a day, during prayer time, which lasts for about 20 minutes. Seating in restaurants and other public buildings is segregated, with one area for single men and another section for single women and families.
Cultural projects and foundations with a branch in Jeddah
- Encyclopaedia of Makkah and Madinah
- Saqifat al-Safa Trust
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 and Jeddah restaurants.
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. Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian foods are also popular. Italian, French, and other European restaurants are found throughout the city. India gate is a popular Indian restaurant located in Al sharafiyah district of jeddah.
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. Another popular fast-food chain is Hot and Crispy, an Arabic franchise. They are most popular for their amazingly spiced curly fries.
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. Foultameez serves Foul and Tameez as fast food; Kudu and Herfy 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.
Museums and collections
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:
- Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium
- Prince Sultan bin Fahd Stadium
- KAU Stadium
- Air-Defense Forces Stadium
- Schools League Stadium
- King Abdullah Stadium (under construction)
Jeddah Also is home to Saudi Arabia's leading Rugby club started and developed since 1979 mainly run by a group of expat mambers of the local community over the years. The club has taken part in both regional and international matches and incites players from Jeddah to come and play. The last five years has shown a heavier interest from Saudi nationals who have also begun to bring rise to some local talents that could one day be the champions of the middle East. Get more information from www.ksarugby.com is the official Saudi Arabian rugby website and home to the Saudi rugby Center who are a cornerstone the future of Saudi Arabian rugby.
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 [ɡ] 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, [ɟ] and [ɡʲ]. This stands in contrast with many dialects in the region, which use [ɡ] or [ʒ] for ğim instead. Some speakers replace the [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 old heritage buildings
The city has many popular resorts, including Durrat Al-Arus, Al-Nawras Movenpick resort at the Red Sea Corniche, Crystal Resort, The Signature Al Murjan Beach 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, Philippines, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Italy, Russia and People's Republic of China, as well as countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation 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 ft). 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 Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC, now the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), 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.
A proposed tower to be built in Jeddah by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is the Mile-High Tower, or Kingdom Tower, that will stand 1-mile (1.6 km) into the air. Upon its completion, this would make this skyscraper the tallest in the world and yet another addition to Jeddah's many landmarks.
As of 2005[update], 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:
- King Abdulaziz University
- King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
- Arab Open University
- Dar Al-Hekma College
- Effat University
- College of Business Administration (CBA)
- Teacher's College
- Jeddah College of Technology
- Jeddah Private College
- College of Health Care
- College of Telecom & Electronics
- College of Community
- Private College of Business
- Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies
- Batterjee Medical College
- Prince Sultan College of Tourism
- Prince Sultan Aviation Academy
- Islamic Fiqh Academy
- Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing
- Saudi German Institute for Nursing
- Health Manpower Training Institutes Group
- Saudi Japanese Automobile High Institute
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 white 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. A new plan for the extension of airport is being laid. 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.
Roads and rails
Highway 40, which begins in Jeddah, connects the city to Mecca, Riyadh and Dammam on the east coast. 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.
Issues and challenges
Today, the city faces many challenges and issues, such as weak sewage systems, heavy traffic, epidemics, water shortage, and pollution issues.
While the congested traffic is cause for concern in Jeddah, the Saudi Gazette reports that there is a plan in the works to tackle the traffic issue. A reported 3 billion Saudi Riyals will be put into constructing flyovers and underpasses in an effort to reduce traffic. The plan is scheduled to take about five years from its start to finish.
Prior to the construction of a waste treatment plant, Jeddah's waste water was disposed of by either discharge into the sea or via absorption into deep underground pits. As the city grew a proper waste management plant was created and the built up part of the city was connected with a sewer system by the 1970s. However, even with the ever increasing population, there has not been much development to this original sewer system. The original plant cannot cope amount of waste inundating it daily. As a result, some untreated sewage is discharged directly into the sea and the entire northern part of the city remains unconnected to the sewage system at all, instead relying on septic tanks.
2009 Jeddah floods
On 25 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 26 November 2009[update], 77 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.
2011 Jeddah floods
On 26 January 2011, heavy floods affected the city and other areas of Makkah Province. The cumulative rainfall exceeded the 90 mm recorded in four hours during the 25 November 2009 flash floods. Streets including Palestine Street, Madinah Road and Wali Al-Ahad Street were either flooded or jammed with traffic. Cars were seen floating in some places. Meanwhile, eyewitnesses told local newspaper Arab News that East Jeddah was swamped and floodwater was rushing west towards the Red Sea, turning streets into rivers once again.
Jeddah has 25 sister cities (aka "twin towns") which are selected based on economic, cultural and political criteria.
- Adana, Turkey
- Tunis, Tunisia
- Alexandria, Egypt
- Almaty, Kazakhstan
- Amman, Jordan
- Tabriz, Iran
- Baku, Azerbaijan
- Cairo, Egypt
- Casablanca, Morocco
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Jakarta, Surabaya, Indonesia
- Johor Bahru, Malaysia
- Kuching, Malaysia
- Karachi, Pakistan
- Kazan, Russia
- Marbella, Spain
- Mary, Turkmenistan
- Odessa, Ukraine
- Osh, Kyrgyzstan
- Plovdiv, Bulgaria
- Shimonoseki, Japan
- Saint Petersburg, Russia
- Strasbourg, France
- Stuttgart, Germany
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Xi'an, People's Republic of China
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- Municipality of Jeddah Official municipality website (in Arabic)
- Principality of Jeddah Official Jeddah principality website (in Arabic)
- City of Jeddah Official website (in English)
- Interactive Jeddah Map from Jeddah Municipality (Official)
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