Jeddah is the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia. It has grown greatly in the past 50+ years, from a population of approximately 30,000 in 1947 when its 16th century city walls were torn down, to over 3.5 million in 2008.
Jeddah began as a fishing village over 2,500 years ago, and is still a major port of entry. The city's airport, the King Abdul Aziz International Airport is the main entry for Muslims going on pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.
For road trip enthusiasts, the distance from Jeddah to the capital, Riyadh, is approximately 1,061 km (660 miles).
The Red Sea and the Corniche
Taking long evening walks along the Red Sea boardwalk — The Corniche — is also popular. During cooler months, many families picnic along the Corniche, where the lights of the city and of anchored ships illuminate the night. For art lovers, the Corniche is home to a wide variety of large sculptures — from shells, to birds, to fists, to lamps, to cars embedded in concrete.
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