Skip navigation

Tag Archives: saudi arabia

I’ve been across the King Fahad Causeway a few times over the past two years.  I’ve never been able to get any reasonable shots of the journeys.  Most of my crossings were in the night, and the only time I went during the day – it was a very hazy one. Read More »

We drove to Yanbu’ in the evening and saw very little.  This is my second time on this road so I knew there wouldn’t be much action on the way back either – even if it was during daylight.  I did find the mirage on the way back rather attractive.  It remained with us most of the journey and we seldom saw the horizon.

I’m back in the air!

Jeddah airport has been renovated but it still looks hopelessly dull.  It’s such a contrast to what it looks like from outside.  I love the simple tent-look of the main terminal building.  The lack of the ugly (but necessary) jetways, and the vast open area of the airport apron, help maintain the illusion.

Read More »

My brother and I came back yesterday from a ‘quick’ Umrah – a visit to the holy land outside the annual pilgrimage season. In a total of 48 hours we managed to visit Madinah spend a night there and go onto Makkah the next day.  We spent another night in Makkah and prayed Friday, in front of the Kaaba, before heading back home in the afternoon.

Read More »

The second (and final) selection of matchboxes.  Mostly of hotels, and roughly grouped into continents.  Some of the matches missed out in the first post (EAT) were added here and there… 

Above: Movenpick (Heliopolis-Egypt), Sheraton (Doha-Qatar), Le Meridien (Casablanca-Morocco), Crowne Plaza (Farwaniya-Kuwait), The Residence (Tunis-Tunisia) & Sheraton (Muscat-Oman).
 

The Bellagio (Las Vegas-USA), Sacred Sea Room (Las Vegas-USA), Aladdin (Las Vegas-USA), Luxor (Las Vegas-USA), MGM Grand (Las Vegas-USA), Stratosphere Tower (Las Vegas-USA), Best Western (New York-USA), The Doral (Miami-USA), Pacific Time (Miami-USA) & again Luxor (Las Vegas-USA).

Read More »

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.

Read More »

The journey from Jeddah to Yanbu was nothing exciting.  The road is long, has two lanes, and desert on either side.

However there was one point near where the road splits to Medina which was rather beautiful.  There were more trees and mountains in the background.  In fact the roat to Medina is behind the mountains that are just about visible.  I heard today that that road is a gorgeous drive all the way to sacred Medina.

I passed through Jeddah yesterday.  This was my view from the hotel room.  In fact all I saw of Jeddah was this beautiful sunset.

Sometime last summer I started a book and it found its way into a briefcase of mine. I only found it again two weeks ago, and finally finished reading it on the flight yesterday.  The last chapter of Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss is about the hyphen, and how it’s becoming extinct.  I should therefore point out that the title of this post is Red-Sea Sun-set; not Red Sea-Sun-set.  

Good book if you haven’t read it – it’s light despite the heavy subject.

Well the photograph is obviously of the road back home.  Instead of flying to Dammam – bad – I decided to try driving.  I wanted to have my meetings and return home the same day.  It works!  but I have to say that I had a wonderful journey, so that may have something to do with it.

The weather was perfect and the cloud shielded the sun most of the way there and back.  No camels and it was a day off for road idiots – though some did come in to check emails.  Immigration and Customs were great on both sides of the border.  I stayed in my car for the whole routine and the queues were only on the way back, when I saw all of three cars ahead of me.

For my meetings in the East of Saudi Arabia, here is a short comparison for me:

By Air: Packing, driving to airport, checking in, waiting, flying, driving to hotel, unpacking, sleeping, waking up, changing, driving to meeting, lunch, driving to airport, checking in, waiting, flying, driving home.

By Road: Wake up, change, drive to meeting, lunch, drive home!

I had meetings in Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia.  I usually stay in Bahrain but this time I had no meetings there, so I flew direct to Dammam. It was prayer time when I arrived so we waited twenty minutes before the immigration guys returned.  One by one.  There were four queues by then and they chose to open the windows where no-one was waiting.  I think they enjoy seeing the scramble.  I did.

Unfortunately I didn’t see Al Khobar but I hear from everyone that it’s a beautiful city especially by the Corniche.  

Departing from Dammam airport is also miserable.  It’s a beautiful building with good size halls and check-in desks – but it lacks any life.  Once you go through to the gates, there is one shop (like a large Baqala) and a sign for a restaurant that I couldn’t find.  I thought Kuwait airport was bad until I saw this one.  The photograph is of the aeroplane I took back.  This was the only clean spot I could find on any of the windows.  Compare this with Bangkok!