A Different Kind of Saudi Arabia | Travel Research Online


A Different Kind of Saudi Arabia

Its motto is ‘Jeddah Ghair,’ meaning ‘Jeddah is different.’ It is a historic port city with a different way of life than the rest of the kingdom. Serving as the gateway to Mecca, and with almost 68 miles of waterfront along the Red Sea, the second largest city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia awaits the traveler. Jeddah is a leisurely getaway to enjoy the finer points of the Saudi Arabian coasts.

The Corniche


Known as the ‘Bride of the Red Sea,’ Jeddah has been an important port city for at least 1300 years. To accentuate their beautiful coasts and history, they’ve built a waterfront along the Red Sea hosting more than a few points of interest for the traveler. The Jeddah Corniche is almost 68 miles (30km) long, and has something to do for family, group, or solo travel.


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The Corniche has many restaurants for the traveler to stop and taste the culture of Jeddah. There is a coastal road running along it for car cruising with excellent views, shopping to grab that souvenir or perfect dress, and beaches to stroll or relax upon. They’ll also witness the King Fahd’s Fountain, the tallest in the world of its type, that rises about 984 ft (300 meters) above the water.

Old city, or AL-Balad


A contrast to the shiny, new Corniche area is AL-Balad. AL-Balad’s name translates as “The Town”, but is more widely known as the historic area of Jeddah. Here, the traditional culture of Jeddah shows through in the 500 year old buildings. The Red Sea architecture of these buildings includes the use of coral stone and wood, forming such solid structures that they still stand to this day. Though, there have been recent efforts to fix up this historic areas.

The traveler can can haggle with merchants on the old pilgrimage road, once used as the main road to Mecca, or drop by Jeddah’s oldest mosque at almost 1400 years old, the Masjid Shaffie. While the Corniche is a view of new Jeddah, AL-Balad displays how Jeddah has grown into the modern era.

As with most port cities, the culture has assimilated what travelers brought. The traveler will find this influence in the slightly more liberal attitude of Jeddah, compared to the other parts of the kingdom. The cultural importance of Jeddah cannot be denied. Particularly since it’s the start to Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca that spans 43 miles. With this holy pilgrimage, the old city, the Corniche, and a wondrous view of the Red Sea… Jeddah awaits the traveler with open arms and a welcoming culture. Getting to, and around, Saudi Arabia is especially easy using EgyptAir . As the state-owned carrier and member of the Star Alliance, EgyptAir is looking forward to delivering the traveler to Saudi Arabia.


At the time of this article being written, the US Embassy & Consulates in Saudi Arabia is requiring that travelers of two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior announced COVID-19 immunization will be a requirement as of August 1 to enter any social, economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, entertainment, or sporting facility or event in Saudi Arabia. Immunization will be required to enter educational institutions, both government and private. Additionally, it will be required to use public transportation.


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