Jeddah is a city in the Hijaz Tihamah region on the coast of the Red Seaand 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. With a population currently at 3.4 million people, Jeddah 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.
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 fourth in the Africa – Mid-East region in terms of innovation in 2009 in the Innovation Cities Index.
Jeddah is one of Saudi Arabia's primary resort cities and was named a Gamma world city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC). Given the city's close proximity to the Red Sea, fishing and seafood dominates the food culture unlike other parts of the country. The city has been labeled as "different" by the majority of Saudis in an effort to promote tourism in the city, that had been previously perceived as "most open" city in Saudi Arabia.
Historically, 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).
|TIME ZONE :|| Time zone AST (UTC+3)|
• Summer (DST) AST (UTC)
|RELIGION :||Muslim 100%|
|AREA :||• City 1,600 km2 (600 sq mi)|
• Urban 1,686 km2 (651 sq mi)
• Metro 47 km2 (18 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||12 m (39 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||21°32′36″N 39°10′22″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 58%|
• Female: 42%
|ETHNIC :||Arab 90%, Afro-Asian 10%|
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :||(5 digit codes beginning with 21; e.g. 21453)|
|DIALING CODE :||+966-12|
Jeddah (جدّة, also spelled Jiddah) is on the Red Sea in western Saudi Arabia. It the kingdom's second largest city, with a population of approximately 3,400,000, and a major commercial center in the country. Jeddah is also the main entry point, either by air or sea, for pilgrims making the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, the two most sacred cities of Islam. Both are a few hours inland from Jeddah.
The historic Jeddah has been inscribed to the World heritage list since 2014.
Jeddah has been a port and trading city for centuries, which is reflected in its cosmopolitan mix of inhabitants. Today, it is a major commercial center in Saudi Arabia. It also has many government offices. Jeddah is known in the kingdom for its shopping districts, restaurants and cafes. It also hosts the Jeddah Corniche (waterfront area), which is the largest in the Kingdom with a great bunch of hotels, beaches and resorts clustered around it.
To the North of the city, a string of beach resort compounds are off-limits to the mutawwa (religious police) and are known as party spots where many of the social mores of the rest of the country are flouted, especially by rich, liberal families from Jeddah.
Excavations in the old city suggest that Jeddah was founded as a fishing hamlet in 522 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. The city of Jeddah was an important port during Nabataeans frankincense trade .The oldestMashrabiya was found in jeddah dates back to pre Islamic era .
Jeddah first achieved prominence around 647 AD, when the third Muslim Caliph, Uthman Ibn Affan (عثمان بن عفان), turned it into a port making it the port of Makkah instead of Al Shoaiba port south west of Mecca. In 703 AD Jeddah was briefly occupied by pirates from the Kingdom of Axum. Jeddah has been established as the main city of the historic Hijaz province and a historic port for pilgrims arriving by sea to perform their Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.
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 The Hijaz and Jeddah. The Fatimids developed an extensive trade network in both the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean through theRed Sea. Their trade and diplomatic ties extended all the way to China and its Song Dynasty, which eventually determined the economic course of Tihamah 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. Ayyubid conquests in Hejaz included Jeddah, which joined 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 strengtheningSunni 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, Hijaz 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 fleets that carried freight and Muslim pilgrims from India to the Red Sea, and struck terror into the surrounding potentates. The Princes of Gujarat and Yemen turned for help to Egypt. Sultan Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawriaccordingly fitted out a fleet of 50 vessels under his Admiral, Hussein the Kurd. Jeddah was soon fortified with a stone wall, using 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 survive today in the old city. Even though the Portuguese were successfully repelled from the city, fleets in theIndian Ocean were at their mercy. This was evidenced by the Battle of Diubetween the Portuguese and the Arab Mamluks. The Portuguese soldiers' cemetery can still be found within the old city today and is referred to as the site of 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 Hijaz, including Jeddah and the holy city of Mecca, passed into Ottoman possession. The Ottomans rebuilt the weak walls of Jeddah in 1525 following their victory over the 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 Meccawas the eastern gate and the Gate of Al-Magharibah, facing the port, was the western gate. 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 to the north, the Gate of Mecca to the east, the Gate of Sharif to 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. In Jeddah in 1750, he killed some seventy rioting nomads in retaliation for the killing of his commander, Abdullah Beg, earning him the nickname "Jezzar" (butcher).
On 15 June 1858, rioting in the city, believed to have been instigated by a former police chief in reaction to British policy in the Red Sea, led to the massacre of 25 Christians, including the British and French consuls, members of their families, and wealthy Greek merchants. The British frigate HMS Cyclops, anchored at port, bombarded the city for two days and restored law and order.
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 Hashemite Kingdom
During World War I, Sharif Hussein bin Alideclared a revolt against the Ottoman Empire, seeking independence from the Ottoman Turks and the creation of a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo inSyria 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 abdicated following the fall of Mecca, in December 1924, and his son Ali bin Hussein became the new king.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
A few months later, Ibn Saud, whose clan originated in the central Nejd province, conquered Medinaand Jeddah via an agreement with Jeddans following the Second Battle of Jeddah. He deposed 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 after Jeddah fell 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.
The remaining walls and gates of the old city were demolished 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 km (17 mi) from the old city center.
The climate is dry and hot. The best time to visit is on January and February, when it is the least hot.
The sea water becomes quite hot from July to October.
|Daily highs (°C)||30||30||32||35||37||38||39||38||38||36||34||31|
|Nightly lows (°C)||17||17||18||20||23||24||25||26||25||23||21||18|
|26 °C||25 °C||25 °C||26 °C||28 °C||29 °C||31 °C||31 °C||31 °C||30 °C||29 °C||27 °C|
Jeddah is located in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coastal plain (calledTihamah). Jeddah lies in the Hijazi Tihama (Arabic: تهامة الحجاز) region which is in the lower Hijaz mountains. Historically, politically and culturally, Jeddah was a major city of Hejaz Vilayet, the Kingdom of Hejaz and other regional political entities according to Hijazi history books. It is the 100th largest city in the world by land area.
Jeddah has long been a port city. Even before being designated the port city for Mecca, Jeddah was a trading hub for the region. In the 19th century, goods such as mother-of-pearl, tortoise shells, frankincense, and spices were routinely exported from the city. Apart from this, many imports into the city were destined for further transit to the Suez, Africa, or Europe. Many goods passing through Jeddah could not even be found in the city or even in Arabia.
All of the capitals of the Middle East and North Africa are within two hours flying distance of Jeddah, making it the second commercial center of the Middle East after Dubai.
Also, Jeddah's industrial district is the fourth largest industrial city in Saudi Arabia after Riyadh, Jubail and Yanbu.
Metropolitan Jeddah comprises 137 districts.
Most shopping malls have Internet cafes. Coffee places such as Costa Coffee, StarBucks Coffee, Barnies, Second Cup and many more provide WiFi access to customers.