Jeddah is considered the most cosmopolitan city in
Saudi Arabia, and the constant expansion of the concrete threatens
to engulf the beautiful coral architecture of the Old Town, which
is in a sad state of disrepair. However, some buildings like the
Naseef House have been restored to their former glory, complete
with camel-friendly ramps.
The Souk Al Alawi is a fascinating place, even if you
aren't there to buy. The biggest bazaar in Jeddah, the narrow
streets are bursting with merchandise, the market is especially
busy during hajj. Another market worth seeing is the fish market in
Al-Balad, where dozens of species ranging from hammerhead sharks to
squid are sold at auction between 5am and 9am.
Another popular place for sightseeing in Jeddah is
the 22-mile (35km) Corniche, a busy meeting place where families
and friends gather for picnics and other activities on warm summer
nights. A number of interesting sculptures line the promenade north
of the port.
To learn something about Jeddah's history, visit the
Al-Tayibat City Museum for International Civilisation, which has
more than 300 rooms filled with fascinating artefacts ranging from
beautiful Islamic manuscripts to ancient pottery and furniture.
Travellers wanting to see a different side of Jeddah
can explore the abundant sea life in the Red Sea. Scuba diving in
Jeddah is a popular activity, with several stunning coral reef
systems and shipwrecks in the area. Above the surface is the
incredible King Fah's Fountain that sprays seawater over 1,000 feet
(312m) into the air. While the fountain is visible throughout the
city, visitors can go to Al Andalus pier to get a closer look.
Souq Al Alawi
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