What is Saudi Arabia? When people ask about Saudi Arabia, the first thought would appear in their heads is sand, lots of sand and Bedouins with their camels, perhaps rich sheiks with a chest box full of rubies and diamonds or belly dancers with veiled faced showing nothing but their charming dark eyes.
Well maybe that was the case 200 years ago but today Saudi Arabia is pretty much like any modern country you would visit. In a country where oil is cheaper than water this article will take you through to one of the biggest modern towns in Saudi Arabia through local eyes, her name is Jeddah
Jeddah is a large town located south of Saudi Arabia by the Red Sea, it is a very important strategic city to Saudi Arabia & the Muslim world. One, it is the only gateway entrance to the holy city of Mecca, Muslims all around the world must land in Jeddah first in order to visit the holy Mecca to start their pilgrimage “a ritual journey Muslims do once in their life time in a certain period of the year”, and two, throughout the years people been coming from around the world to start their pilgrimage this made Jeddah a town of mix inhabitants and opened a portal for Jeddah to become a world of commercial and trade center, creating millions of jobs and business opportunities,
Jeddah also a town by sea side, with a magical fountain called King Fahad fountain but know by locals as Jeddah Fountain and is located just by the town center, it’s really something that catches the human eye, it also has the world tallest flag pole with the national flag, I bet you didn’t know that…
Jeddah also enjoys historical sites, such The Historic Jeddah (Albalad), a historic town with ancient buildings and historic town gates. What is good about this historic town is that its not abandoned but it is still an active town, you can shop, eat there to experience the old fashion way of how people used to live and trade in Jeddah.
There is also a University City by south of Jeddah and a sport City north of Jeddah, to drive from south to north it would take about an hour, so yes Jeddah is quite a big city,
Moreover by 2019 Jeddah will have the tallest tower in the world, the kingdom tower and construction has already started, this will sure put Jeddah in the world map.
So what are the people like? What do they do in their free time?
With a population of 4 million of mixed inhabitants, Wealth and glamour has also become part of Jeddah, with 40 malls spread around Jeddah the locals in Jeddah do seem to love to do their shopping a lot. Locals also love to live in big houses with a big garden rather than living the western style of apartments in a sky towers. Therefore you might not see lots of sky towers spreading around Jeddah but one thing for sure you will notice many villas spreading around.
One noticeable factor in Jeddah is that alcohol is not allowed here in Jeddah whether its in restaurants or bars, rather than drinking in their free time one major thing locals love to do in Jeddah is to eat… yep Jeddah do have a big appetite, with more than 200 different restaurants all spread around Jeddah city, from far west recipes of Japanese sushi to the far east of American burgers and everything in between, There is no recipe the locals here have never heard of rather you will find some of the rarest food recipes cooked in here. This is very understandable in a city of highly mixed inhabitance from round the world.
The locals here are also profound of their cars, cars and more cars, you would probably wont see many individuals walks in a 40 degrees temperature especially at day time unless you are inside malls or indoors facilities. Well in a country where petrol is cheaper than water you cant really blame the Saudis for having so many cars.
In short Jeddah do have its own unique way of life style, one that you would probably wont experience any where around the world, whether it is one of the places you would like to add in your bucket list to visit, that is a decision you must take alone…
By Ray Felembo
Many Thanks to our friend
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