Jeddah: True Spirit of Saudi Arabia

Published: 13th March 2009
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Coined the Paris of Arabia, Jeddah is one of the few remaining cities in the region to conserve the traditional roots that make it the city it is today. The effort to retain Jeddah's history results in one of the most interesting Saudi Arabian cities which is no doubt a modern metropolis, but is also lined with authentic features, pilgrim-thronged streets, souks and coral architecture.





Jeddah is situated mid-way down the country's Red Sea coast. For many centuries this seaside spot has acted as a meeting point for pilgrims and traders, so the city is no stranger to visitors of various cultures.





The foreign influence that infiltrates the city is reflected in the faces of the inhabitants, the extensive range of restaurants and astounding array of souks and shops. When it comes to food you won't be stuck for choices with options ranging from Chinese to Lebanese, Asian and of course, Middle Eastern.





Sightseeing opportunities are equally extensive and there are plenty of options to keep everyone happy. The Al-Balad district lies at the heart of Old Jeddah and is a nostalgic testament to the olden days. This area is well worth a walk around, so you can get up close and personal with the beautiful and unique coral architecture. The souks that run below the streets make an authentic stop off where you can pick up all sorts of wares and goods.





Jeddah has some of the best souks in the kingdom. Of particular noteworthiness is the Souk Al-Alawi which runs east off Al-Dahab Street and winds its way through the old city. A few hours could easily be wiled away here, just soaking up the atmosphere and perusing the products on offer.





The souk located immediately south of Al-Amir Fahd Street and Al-Balad is also worth a look due to the huge choice of goods ranging from Yemeni coffee to traditional tribesmen's daggers. The hectic and colourful fish market located in Al-Balad is an interesting sight to behold even if you don't plan to buy anything. With over fifty different species of fish you really can see some of the Red Seas finest offerings.





Once the shopping is done and dusted you might want to go visit some sights. Jeddah has an extensive selection of museums including the Municipality Museum, which is located in a 200-year-old restored traditional house built from Red Sea coral.





The Al-Tayibat City Museum for International Civilisation is quite a mouthful to pronounce, but worth the effort. The palace in which the museum is based has over 300 rooms and house a collection built over a local merchant's lifetime, thus providing a true insight into life in Jeddah. Whilst it may prove difficult to spot The Al-Tayibat City Museum when you are arriving from your flights to Jeddah, you can be sure that once you land-in you will immediately begin soaking up the Saudi Arabian spirit.





Whether you want to explore the shopping districts, involve yourself in sightseeing opportunities or simply relax, you can do so in Jeddah.





Jamie Rigwell writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.


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