Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
About Jeddah, Saudi
Jeddah is the commercial capital of Saudi
Arabia. Its the host city for Opec's
emergency talks. It is also a key regional centre: the
capital cities of North Africa and the Middle East are all
within two hours' flying distance.
Jeddah's proximity to the holiest sites in Islam - Mecca is
70 kilometres inland, and Medina lies to the north - has helped
its growth as a commercial centre.
One million pilgrims pass through Jeddah during the annual
Hajj to Mecca. The city's airport, King Abdul Aziz
International, is one of the busiest in the world, and includes
a Hajj terminal which can accommodate 80,000 pilgrims.
The navigable gap in the Red Sea reef that enabled pilgrims
to travel to Mecca by sea became a trading post for rices,
spices, silks, precious metals and perfumes.
It is one of the oldest seaports on the Red Sea; its
importance grew still further after the opening of the Suez
Canal in 1869 enabled ships to access the city from the north
Old and new worlds coexist in Jeddah: traditional souks,
popular with tourists, sit in the shadows of new shopping
Tahlia Street is home to Prada, Gucci and Giorgio Armani
stores, and King Abdullah Street hosts offices of many of the
region's biggest companies.
A central business district is also planned for Jeddah: it
would be one of the largest in the world.
Other Major Cities:
- Khamīs Mushayt