About Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

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.

Many countries have consulates in Jeddah, including the United States and Canada.

For road trip enthusiasts, the distance from Jeddah to the capital, Riyadh, is approximately 1,061 km (660 miles).

Jeddah is hot and humid most of the year, with temperatures up to 48C (118F). See today's weather in Jeddah.

Jeddah is 7 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, and 8 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

The Red Sea and the Corniche
Jeddah is also the main seaport on the Red Sea. The Red Sea itself is home to what many consider to be the best coral reefs in the world. The reefs — with over 200 species of coral, and numerous sunken wrecks for exploring — are very popular for snorkelling and scuba diving.

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.

Jeddah is a cosmopolitan city with modern shopping facilities, international cuisine, and a great variety of artwork. But it hasn't forgotten its history, and the "Old Town" contains many squares and buildings of historical interest. The city is full of traditional souqs and modern shopping malls.

In addition to scuba diving, there are a large number of recreational options: desert hiking and camping trips, tennis, team sports (e.g., baseball, soccer, rugby, cricket, etc.), swimming, horseback riding, etc.

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