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Whilst I was unable to go around Jeddah, being here did bring back memories of my previous trips.  The thing I remember most is the intriguing architecture.  Older buildings here are like nowhere else.  They have their own character.  Even the ugly buildings seem to have a soul.  I remember walking around an old market (Souq Al Alawi) and missing most of the shops as I gazed above them at the old windows and balconies. 

The modern Jeddah is of course just as impressive.  The interesting architecture theme seems to creep into the new; and the Corniche by the Red Sea offers beautiful views of the city sky line at different points.  I stayed at a hotel in North Jeddah and the beach area is nicely presented with children play-areas, little cafes and long landscaped walkways. There is also an impressive long pier into the water that splits into three ends.

Another (silly) memory of Jeddah is the curved escalator.  I know there are others around the world, but I saw it here for the first time a few years ago.  Innovation in architecture is obviously part of the Jeddah spirit.  

The top photograph was taken near a building in old Jeddah where I had a meeting this afternoon, the escalator is at the Hilton hotel in Jeddah.


  1. I always find it interesting when there are contrasts in architecture! That is why I like walking around in London!

  2. Isn’t it difficult to obtain a visa to travel to Saudi Arabia if you are not going for religious purposes?

    • Jonyboy
    • Posted 26 March 2009 at 10:39 am
    • Permalink

    I have not seen a curved escalator…until now.

    Do they still have such old buildings around, in Jeddah…??

    Those buildings reminds me of the old Mubarakiya souk of Kuwait, in the 70s n 80s. Oh how I really miss those days. The re-modelled ‘almost’ like the old, ‘new’ Mubarikiya souk… nice….but still lacks the authenticity of the old and is soooo artifical.

  3. Another beautiful pic 🙂

  4. — Marzouq
    London… The real “Um id Dunia” 🙂

    — Abid
    Yes. I can enter without a visa but people from outside the Gulf need one to enter. It’s usually either religious or business; you need to check with their embassy to see how one can get a “tourist” visa.

    — Jonyboy
    🙂 Different huh?
    Most of old Jeddah has these buildings. There is a project to renovate and maintain them.

    With Mubarkiya we had no choise… It was destroyed by the Iraqis. We are finally waking up in Kuwait and the older buildings will be restored.

    — Amu
    Thank you.

  5. Nice contrats between old and new in Saudi Arabia. The skies look great over there too ! 🙂
    I hope the visa formalities will be easy. For all other GCC countries I can get visa on entry but not Saudi 😦

  6. Nice photos of the Balad in Jeddah!

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